Djokovic survives early onslaught to advance in Doha

Novak Djokovic's quest to retake the World No 1 ranking in 2017 started with a bang as he defeated Jan-Lennard Struff in the first round of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha.

The Serb recovered from a slow start in the first set to beat his German opponent 7-6 (7-1), 6-3 in one hour and 29 minutes.

Struff came racing out of the blocks to stun Djokovic with two early breaks, racing to a 4-0 lead to surprise everyone in the arena.

But Djokovic soon found his feet, regaining both lost breaks in games eight and 10 to get back on level terms and force a tie-break, which he took comfortably by seven points to one.

Having gained the ascendancy, Djokovic did not let up in the second set, claiming further breaks in the first and ninth games to wrap up the victory pretty comfortably in the end.

Fourth seed David Goffin also advanced thanks to a 7-6, (7-4), 6-2 victory over Robin Haase, while Nicolas Almagro defeated Paolo Lorenzi 7-6 (7-2), 4-6, 6-3.

In other results, Dustin Brown beat Facundo Bagnis 6-1, 6-7 (2-7), 6-4 and Jiri Vesely hit 13 aces on the way to 6-2, 6-3 victory over Anil Yuksel.

Eighth seed Marcos Baghdatis was the only early casualty, as he retired hurt from his match against Radek Stepanek with the Czech leading 6-4, 5-3.