Novak Djokovic: It's a great battle, congrats to Borna Coric on a great performance

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Novak Djokovic: It's a great battle, congrats to Borna Coric on a great performance

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic insisted it wasn't easy against Borna Coric as he praised the Croatian tennis star after their clash at the Adria Tour event in Zadar. Djokovic, a 17-time Grand Slam champion, handed a straight-set defeat to world No.

33 Coric 4-1 4-3 (1) in his second match at the event. Coric had a chance to start the match with a break but Djokovic claimed the first game after winning the deciding point. The Serb then came up big in the deciding point of the second game to earn the first break of the match and open an early 2-0 lead.

Coric got on the board in the fourth game, before Djokovic served out to love the fifth game to win the opener. After losing the first set, Coric made a fast start to the second set as he earned his first break of the match in the second game of the set to take a 2-0 lead.

But his lead was short-lived as Djokovic broke back the Croatian in the third game to reduce the deficit to 2-1. Coric saved four consecutive break points in the fifth game to eventually force a tie-break -- which Djokovic dominated to clinch the win in two sets.

"Exactly. I hope we have satisfied the crowd with our level of play. We fought. I think it was a great battle from the beginning. The first three games were decided on a deciding point. A few points here and there went my way and allowed me to take the first set.

The second set was really tight. Congrats to Borna on a great performance, I wish him all the best and thanks to all of you for staying late," Djokovic told Sport Klub.

Novak Djokovic makes a perfect start at the Adria Tour

Djokovic, 33, handed a straight-set defeat to fellow compatriot Pedja Krstin in his opener at the Adria Tour event in Zadar.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion started a bit slowly against Krstin but recovered from it to earn a 4-3 (3) 4-1 win. Krstin had a great chance to win the opener but he failed to serve out for the first set in the sixth game as he blew two consecutive set points.

Djokovic will play his last group match on Sunday likely against Nino Serdarusic. After losing to Coric, Dimitrov withdrew from his match against Krstin and Serdarusic replaced him. Novak Djokovic failed to win it all in Belgrade last week and now he is eager to make it all the way in Zadar.