Novak Djokovic is ready to return after missing major US competition.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner was banned from competing in the United States last year and earlier this year due to his failure to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, but he was permitted to compete again when the United States government relaxed the ban on unvaccinated foreign visitors in May.

After winning his first singles match there in two years at the Cincinnati Open on Wednesday, Novak Djokovic said he missed competing in the biggest tournaments in the US and was happy to be back.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner was banned from competing in the United States last year and earlier this year due to his failure to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, but he was permitted to play again if the US authorities loosened the ban on unvaccinated foreign visitors in May.

The 36-year-old Serbian defeated Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the opening set 6-4 while competing in singles in Cincinnati for the first time since 2019. Fokina then retired due to a back injury.

It feels like it was only yesterday. Consequently, it's amazing to be back Djokovic told the media. This competition brought back a lot of wonderful memories for me.

Winning it in 2018 was a highlight for me since it was the only Master's tournament I hadn't won in years. The majority of the finals I believe I lost were to Roger (Federer).

But I have had success playing in the past so I was thrilled to get the chance to return to the United States. Two years have passed. It eluded me. On American land, some of the biggest competitions in our sport are held. Simply put I am ready to play some tennis.

The world's number two wants to win his third Grand Slam trophy of the year at the U.S. Open, which runs from August 28 to September 10. Djokovic became to Carlos Alcaraz in the Wimbledon final last month.

The 2021 New York runner-up said it was too soon to gauge his form on the surface after a rusty first match back following his last hardcourt encounter in March.

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