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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday April 23, 2023

Dusan Lajovic

Dusan Lajovic battled past Andrey Rublev for his first title since 2019.

Photo Source: TTV

Earning a milestone victory over his hero Novak Djokovic on Friday in Banja Luka would have been more than enough to consider his week a giant success.

Tennis Express

But Dusan Lajovic took the inspiration and turned it into two more victories at the Srpska Open, claiming the title on Sunday with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 victory over No.2-seeded Andrey Rublev for his second career title and first since 2019.

The 32-year-old, who powered past Miomir Kecmanovic in a grinding three-set semifinal on Saturday, emptied the tank against Rublev, snapping the Russian’s eight-match winning streak with a determined effort, hanging on for the win as Rublev tried to rally from 5-1 down in the decider.

"The last time I was in a final was four years ago and I have been through a lot since then, lots of ups and downs,” Lajovic said. “This was probably the most unexpected thing for me for this week. But on the other side I still believed in myself, even though I did not have the best last year. This victory means a lot."

Former World No. 23 Lajovic will rise to No.40 (from 70) in the ATP rankings on Monday. He won three three-setters at Banja Luka, but his biggest win was in the quarterfinals against 22-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic.

He defeated Djokovic 6-4, 7-6(6), saving three set points in the second set tiebreak to earn his first career win over a reigning World No.1.

The victory marks Lajovic’s eighth Top-10 win, and second of the week. He had never earned multiple Top 10 victories at the same event prior to this week.

Rublev drops to 21-9 on the season with the loss, while Lajovic improves to 14-7.


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