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    Novak Djokovic Again From The Brink In Belgrade | ATP Tour

    Novak Djokovic demonstrated all of his battling qualities to beat a sluggish begin in opposition to fellow Serb Laslo Djere and full a dramatic second-round comeback on the Serbia Open in Belgrade on Wednesday.

    The World No. 1 struggled to search out his greatest stage for a lot of his maiden tour-level assembly with Djere, however the 20-time Grand Slam champion dug deep to clinch a 2-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(4) win and hold his hopes of a 3rd title on the ATP 250 occasion alive on the Novak Tennis Heart.

    “I appreciated the best way I managed to bodily maintain on and push by way of and survive a thriller of just about three-and-a-half hours,” Djokovic mentioned post-match. “That is the constructive distinction in comparison with Monte Carlo, the place I simply wasn’t capable of bodily maintain the third set. Right this moment, that was totally different. If there are positives, I feel that is the one.”

    After second-round defeat eventually week’s Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, Djokovic will probably be delighted to be again to profitable methods in entrance of his dwelling followers. 

    “Taking part in an official match in entrance of your crowd… you’re feeling the good help, which I had, and I am very grateful for that. However on the identical time, it is not easy. Even after so a few years of expertise and taking part in many occasions in entrance of the house crowd, you continue to really feel nervous.”

    Similar to in his loss in Monaco in opposition to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, Djokovic was sluggish out the blocks, however this time he discovered his vary in time to stick with his opponent and ultimately overhauled Djere in a three-hour, 22-minute marathon.

    Djokovic couldn’t match a robust begin from the World No. 50 as Djere carved out break level alternatives in all 4 of the highest seed’s service video games within the opening set. Changing two of them was sufficient for Djere to take the set, as he struck the ball powerfully in opposition to an opponent struggling to settle in simply his fifth match of 2022.

    “I feel Djere, for a lot of the match, was the higher participant,” Djokovic mentioned. “He was the one controlling the sport. He was the one attacking. I did not really feel nice once more by way of my sport. I had a really unhealthy match with my serve, type of ups and downs actually.”

    Djokovic upped his stage within the second set and set free a roar after reclaiming a break to stage at 4-4 as the gang started to anticipate a trademark comeback from the legendary 34-year-old. He missed three set factors within the twelfth sport however recovered from that disappointment to clinch the tie-break to pressure a decider.

    Djokovic was by no means at his imperious greatest however stayed strong off each wings and took a nervy ultimate set in a tie-break regardless of cussed resistance from a tiring Djere, who produced a high-class efficiency as he got here near the most important win of his profession. The World No. 50 will nonetheless rue a few pricey misses at essential moments. He netted a brief forehand into an open courtroom when serving at 4-3, 40/15 to let Djokovic again into the second set, after which missed the same forehand when 4/3 forward within the third-set tie-break.


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    With the win, Djokovic improved his file in opposition to Serbian opponents to 26-4. He has not misplaced to a countryman since defeat to Janko Tipsarevic in Madrid in 2012.

    “It was slightly bit [of a] unusual feeling taking part in in opposition to one other Serbian participant, which would be the case once more tomorrow,” he mentioned. “However I have to say the gang was excellent.”

    Djokovic’s subsequent opponent will probably be Miomir Kecmanovic, who earlier accomplished a 6-4, 7-6(5) win over Australian John Millman to succeed in the quarter-finals for the second 12 months in a row. Djokovic leads the pair’s ATP Head2Head collection 1-0 after defeating Kecmanovic within the quarter-finals in Belgrade in 2021.

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