Novak Djokovic and Filip Krajinovic to face wildcard duo in Cincinnati doubles opener



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Novak Djokovic and Filip Krajinovic to face wildcard duo in Cincinnati doubles opener

Serbian tennis superstar Novak Djokovic and fellow compatriot Filip Krajinovic have been drawn to meet American Tommy Paul and Frances Tiafoe in the opening round of the doubles event at the Cincinnati Masters. Djokovic, 33, and 28-year-old Krajinovic have entered a doubles tournament together for the sixth time in their respective careers and for the first time since last year's Shanghai Masters.

Meanwhile, Paul and Tiafoe, who were granted a wildcard into the Cincinnati Masters doubles event, are set to make their team debut at the ATP level. Paul, 23, and 22-year-old Tiafoe are set to make their second team appearance as they played together for the first time at the Cary Challenger in 2016.

Back then, the Americans won their opener at the tournament before losing to Luke Bambridge and Ben McLachlan in the quarterfinal. Djokovic and Krajinovic have had some success together, having reached the Doha semifinal in 2015, before losing to Juan Monaco and Rafael Nadal.

Should Djokovic and Krajinovic beat Paul and Tiafoe, they would play next against either No. 1 seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah or Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski.

Djokovic to use doubles as a bit of a preparation for his singles campaign

Djokovic, seeded at No.

1, has a first round bye in Cincinnati and then he plays against either Paul or a qualifier. Djokovic had concerns over traveling to the United States but eventually decided to play the Cincinnati Masters and US Open. "I am happy to confirm that I will participate at the Cincinnati and US Open this year,” Djokovic recently said in an announcement posted on his website.

“It was not an easy decision to make with all the obstacles and challenges on many sides, but the prospect of competing again makes me really excited. "During my career I have played some of my best matches at the USTA Billie Jean King National tennis center.

“I am aware that this time around it will be very different with all the protocols and safety measures that are put in place to protect players and people of NY. "Nevertheless, I have trained hard with my team and got my body in shape so I am ready to adapt to new conditions.

"I’ve done all the check-ups to make sure I am fully recovered and I am ready to get back on court fully committed to playing my best tennis."