Novak Djokovic ignored the disappointment of a third round exit in Monte Carlo with a dominant 6-1, 6-3 win over Soonwoo Kwon on Wednesday to reach the quarter-finals of the Serbian Open.
The world No.1 was clear from the first game of the game, showing no residue from his loss to Daniel Evans last week. The home favorite broke South Korean serve five times to qualify after 68 minutes.
“I thought I played very well from the start, except for this service game that I lost 5-2 in the second [set]. I thought it was a pretty flawless performance, ”said Djokovic. I moved well, I mixed the rhythm quite well, making it play. I served well in important moments, [and] overall I felt good. “
In his press conference ahead of Monday’s tournament, Djokovic spoke about the importance of competition in his hometown. There was one last ATP Tour event here in 2012.
The Serb, who won this tournament in two of his three appearances (2009 and 2011), made it clear with his performance against Kwon that he was the big favorite to win a third trophy in Belgrade. The 18-time Grand Slam champion was particularly happy to perform well in front of his family and friends.
“It gives you that extra boost, that extra motivation, the energy to really give your best and leave everything behind on the pitch,” said Djokovic. “I also think it made me feel comfortable and confident on the court and I played really well. I’m really happy with the quality of tennis.”
It was the pair’s first ATP Head2Head meeting, and Djokovic, who is now 11-1 this season, immediately put pressure on the world No.85 by breaking the serve in his first return leg. .
Kwon showed off his fighting spirit and aggressive base play, but Djokovic had an answer for almost anything the 23-year-old tried. The Serbian got another break early in the second set, at 1-1, sprinting forward for a dropped shot and finding a sharp angle for a winner.
Although the South Korean got his first break point at 2-5 in the second set – and converted it – it was far too late, as the seed broke in the next game to seal his victory.
Djokovic will next face compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic, who beat French qualifier Arthur Rinderknech 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 earlier today. The 21-year-old was delighted to pass.
“When I was 0-5 in the second set, I was already thinking about the third [set], so I started practicing a few shots and coming back, “Kecmanovic said.” My game started to work, but I think it helped me get off to a good start in the decider and finish it off. “
The Serbian won five breaks of duty and withstood 10 aces from world No.129. It will be the first crack of the eighth seed at Djokovic.
Did you know
The last time Djokovic competed in Belgrade, in 2011, he had yet to climb to No. 1 in the FedEx ATP rankings. He has now spent 317 weeks on top of the tennis mountain, more than any player in history.