Djokovic wins on return from injury

TOKYO: Novak Djokovic made a successful return from a shoulder injury with victory over Alexei Popyrin in the opening round of the Japan Open.The world number one had not played a singles match since retiring during his fourth-round contest against Stan Wawrinka at the US Open a month ago.It was rumoured the problem may be serious enough for him to miss the Asian swing of events or even need surgery but Djokovic gave an upbeat assessment after his 6-4 6-2 victory over Australian Popyrin.He said on “(The) shoulder is good. I have not felt anything in the previous days, including today, in the match. So I am very pleased to say that and to feel healthy.”It was a great day for Japanese players, led by wild card Taro Daniel’s 6-4 4-6 7-6 (5) upset of second seed Borna Coric.Qualifier Yasutaka Uchiyama also claimed a notable scalp, beating fourth seed Benoit Paire 6-2 6-2.Reilly Opelka won the battle of the young Americans 6-3 6-4 against seventh seed Taylor Fritz while Denis Shapovalov was a 6-4 6-4 winner over Miomir Kecmanovic.

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