Novak Djokovic and Jonathan Erlich will face Sander Arends and Bart Stevens in their first Tel Aviv Open doubles match. Djokovic, 35, and Erlich, 45, will play together in doubles for the third time. In 2010, Djokovic captured his first and only doubles title when he teamed with Erlich at the Queen's Club.
A few months after their victory at the Queen's Club, Djokovic and Erlich competed together again at the Shanghai Masters, where they fell in the round of 16. It has been 12 years since Djokovic and Erlich went all the way at the Queen's Club.
Erlich, who is retiring from tennis after the Tel Aviv Open, asked Djokovic if he was willing to play doubles with him at his last tournament. Djokovic accepted the invitation and that is why the Serb and the Israeli will play together in Tel Aviv.
On Saturday, Djokovic teamed up with Matteo Berrettini at the Laver Cup. In their debut as a doubles pair, Djokovic and Berrettini of the European team defeated Alex De Minaur and Jack Sock of the world team 7-5, 6-2. Djokovic and Berrettini started their match strong, earning an early break and a 3-0 lead.
In the eighth game - when De Minaur and Sock served to stay in the first set - Djokovic and Berrettini lost a set point. After losing their first set point, Djokovic and Berrettini both failed to serve for the opening set in game nine.
Novak Djokovic spoke about his absence from the US Open and his chances of competing at the Australian Open next year. "No, I don't regret anything. I feel sad that I couldn't play, but it was a decision I made. I knew what the consequences would be, so I accepted them.
That's all," said the Serb.
Nole won 21 Grand Slam titles
Novak Djokovic has said ahead of his Tel Aviv Open campaign this week that retirement is not on the anvil despite winning "pretty much everything"
“I still want to play tennis even though I achieved pretty much everything that you can achieve in tennis," said Djokovic. "I still have passion and hunger to play at a highest professional level”. In 2006, the then World No.
70 won both his Davis Cup singles in Ramat Hasharon near Tel Aviv - beating Noam Okun and Dudi Sela in straight sets. “It was the loudest atmosphere I ever experienced, very passionate people for sport here. I love to see that,” Djokovic said.
“This week is mostly about tennis for me, I hope to play well here and to see a lot of people come to watch my matches”.