Djokovic Wins 3rd Belgrade Title, Overwhelms Qualifier Molcan

by Staff | May 30th, 2021, 1:41 am
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Novak Djokovic won his third home Belgrade event Saturday rallying from a break down to beat Alex Molcan 6-4, 6-3.

The left qualifier Molcan, who was appearing in his first ATP final, was actually up a break early after claiming six of the first seven points. There was no panic from Djokovic upped his game to take the first.

Djokovic went up a break in the second but the lefty was able to level. A sixth break on the day for Djokovic would seal his 83rd career title.

“It’s been a while since I last played here in front of a crowd,” said Djokovic. “We played here one month ago, without a crowd. To hold a trophy here after 10 years is really special and it couldn’t be better ahead of Roland Garros. I am playing well, feeling good and I have spent quality time with my family.”

Djokovic also won Belgrade back in 2011 and in 2009. The event is played at the Novak Djokovic Tennis Center and run by his brother.

With a 20-3 record on the year, Djokovic opens play Tuesday in Paris against American Tennys Sandgren.

“It definitely gives me a great feeling and boost of confidence for flying into Paris,” said Djokovic. “I am thrilled with the way I have been playing this week, very satisfied with the way I have been feeling on the court and striking the ball.

“I am ready. Paris is definitely one of the highest goals of the season and hopefully I will be able to kick start that tournament in the best possible way and work my way deep into the tournament.”

Djokovic could of court face Roger Federer in the quarters and then Rafael Nadal in the semifinals. But he’s not concerned meeting them so early.

“I don’t think it makes a significant difference playing him in the semifinal or final,” Djokovic said of when to face Nadal. “Playing him, whether it is the first round or in the final on clay at Roland Garros, is the highest challenge you can have.

“I did face him many times on centre court at Roland Garros and know how it feels to play him there, but I feel after our match up in Rome that I have a good chance playing him or anybody.”

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