Djokovic Rallies Past Djere For Opening Round Win In Belgrade, Faces Kecmanovic Thurs.

by Staff | April 20th, 2022, 10:46 pm
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Novak Djokovic’s struggles continued at his home event in Belgrade on Wednesday, but at least he won.

Djokovic found himself down a set and a break in his opener to Laslo Djere who led 4-3 in the second with points for 5-3.

Djokovic would manage to recover to force a decider. A quick broke confirmed Djokovic’s momentum, but it wouldn’t last as the 50th-ranked Djere fought back. And in the breaker, it was Djere with a mini-breaker edge before Djokovic won the last four points to collect his his third win of 2022 2-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(4).

“I liked the way I managed to physically hold on and push through and survive a thriller of almost three-and-a-half hours,” Djokovic said after the 3-hour, 22-minute match. “That’s the positive difference compared to Monte Carlo, where I just wasn’t able to physically sustain the third set. Today, that was different. If there are positives, I think that’s the one.

“I think Djere, for most of the match, was the better player,” said Djokovic who finished just 2 of 14 on break chances. “He was the one controlling the game. He was the one attacking. I didn’t feel great again in terms of my game. I had a very bad match with my serve, kind of ups and downs really.”

Djokovic now faces another countryman in Miomir Kecmanovic on Thursday in the quarterfinals.

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