World No. 1 Novak Djokovic continued with his red-hot form in the Belgrade 2 event prior to his entry into the French Open 2021.
Although Djokovic beat Mats Moraing in straight sets in the opening match, he was surely tested by the German star in the second set. After their battle of an hour and 40 minutes, the current best tennis star outplayed the world number 253 by 6-2, 7-6 (7/4).
But Djokovic did not shy away from acknowledging that it was tough to take on the German counterpart, not knowing the skills he possesses up his sleeves.
He said: “I was twice a break up in the second set so I maybe could have finished out the job earlier, but credit to him for fighting, for playing really well, for playing very courageous, very bold tennis.”
As he heaped praises on Moraing, Djokovic remarked: “I had an opponent that doesn’t have much experience, but he played like he spent 10 years playing at the top level.”
The Serb admitted that the second set drained his stamina and took a toll on him mentally as well. He was anxious about the fact if he will recover in time for his next match-up.
“The second set was exhausting, I’m mentally spent. I have a day to recover and move on to the next match. It was a very good start against a player I’d never faced before with a big serve and big shots. He was going for some shots today that were amazing,” Djokovic stated during his on-court interview.
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“This tournament came up as a surprise to all of us. I think the success of a nation in tennis depends a lot on the number of tournaments that are played in that country.”
The Serbian maestro will take on Federico Coria in the quarter-finals. Coria is an Argentinian prodigy who’s the younger brother of former French Open runner-up Guillermo Coria.
Djokovic is not only the favourite to win the quarter-final, but the tournament too. While Rafael Nadal will chase his 14th French Open crown in June, Djokovic will have an edge over him owing to Nadal’s form slump.
The Spaniard has lost to new kids on the block in recent outings that have got the world thinking about his good run at the French Open. Roger Federer has had a similar run in recent years that has been worsened by his injury troubles.
This has automatically made Djokovic a firm favourite to bag his 19th Grand Slam at Roland Garros, which will begin on May 30 and conclude on June 13.
The Serb has been battling with injury troubles as well. The last major title that Djokovic bagged, the 2021 Australian Open, showed that Djokovic had the determination to make it big despite injury issues.
He suffered abdominal injuries during an AO game. After the game, he told media how uncertain he was about continuing in the Grand-Slam event, but he triumphed at the end.
While injury issues linger with the World No. 1 currently, fans hope he can pull off another big win to make his resume even more star-studded.