Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button
NewsScoresRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastShopPro GearPickleballGear Sale

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday April 21, 2023

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic couldn't get past his compatriot Dusan Lajovic on Friday at Banja Luka.

Photo Source: TTV

The look on Dusan Lajovic’s face after his epic victory over World No.1 Novak Djokovic on Friday said it all: part joy, part sadness.

Tennis Express

The 32-year-old earned his first career victory over a reigning World No.1, defeating the 22-time Grand Slam champion 6-4, 7-6(6) to book his spot in the semifinals at the Srpska Open in Banja Luka, but he couldn’t seem to reconcile his feelings.

Happy, of course, for the victory, Lajovic didn’t want to be the one to eliminate a Serbian hero from a tournament where he had so much support.

“I'm overwhelmed, it is the biggest win of my career,” Lajovic said on court after the triumph. “The emotions are very mixed because I'm playing here in front of the home town and I'm also playing against Nole who is a good friend and he's a hero of our country. Beating him, it's something that I didn't even think is going to be possible, but it happened.”

Lajovic made it happen.

The 32-year-old played an extremely solid match, taking the initiative against a relatively passive Djokovic to move ahead at critical points of the match. He was extremely resilient under pressure as well, saving 15 of 16 break points against the legend.

Lajovic moved ahead by a break twice in the opening set. In the final game of the set he saved a trio of break points to take it, 6-4.

Djokovic kept earning opportunities but Lajovic was steely in the second set as well as he saved three break points in his first service game and another two while serving at 2-3.

Neither player surrendered serve and when Djokovic moved ahead 6-3 in the second-set tiebreak, it felt for all the world like he was on his way to a comeback victory.

Not quite.

Lajovic won the final five points to complete a victory he will no doubt savor for the rest of his career.

The 32-year-old former World No.23 moves on to face compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic in the semis.

Kecmanovic toppled Jiri Lehecka 7-5, 6-0.

Alex Molcan will face No.2-seeded Andrey Rublev in the bottom half semifinal.

Molcan defeated Laslo Djere, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5.

Rublev was down early against Damir Dzumhur, trailing 5-2 in the first, but rallied to win 11 of the final 14 games to win 7-5, 6-3. The Russian has now won seven straight victories dating back to the start of his run to the Monte-Carlo title.


Latest News