ATP Vienna: Novak Djokovic overcomes slow start to beat Filip Krajinovic

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ATP Vienna: Novak Djokovic overcomes slow start to beat Filip Krajinovic

Competing in Vienna for the first time since 2007, Novak Djokovic defeated Filip Krajinovic 7-6, 6-3 in an hour and 58 minutes for the 38th triumph from 40 matches in 2020. Djokovic had to work hard in the opener and save a set point in the tie break, controlling the pace after that to move into the last 16.

It was a solid encounter with more winners than unforced errors on both sides, with Djokovic converting four break chances from 11 opportunities and suffering two breaks. Both players scored two breaks from four break points in the opener, with Krajinovic wasting a 5-3 advantage and losing it in the tie break.

Novak had 23 winners and 15 unforced errors, leaving Filip on a 16-14 ratio and finding his best tennis when it mattered the most to avoid an early setback. Djokovic had to work hard in the opening game, fending off two break chances with winners and closing it with a service winner.

World no. 1 held at love with an ace down the T line, securing the first break with a volley winner at the net a few minutes later for a 3-1 lead. Out of sudden, Novak netted an easy forehand to lose serve at 15 in game five, bringing Filip back into contention and allowing the younger Serb to level the score at 3-3.

Losing ground in those moments, Djokovic squandered a game point in game seven and got broken when Krajinovic placed a backhand down the line winner. Serving at 4-3, Filip repelled a couple of break chances and brought the game home with an ace down the T line, moving two points away from the set on the return in the next one.

Djokovic held after deuce with a service winner and that proved to be a game-changer, as he earned a break at 15 in game ten to prolong the set and gain a boost.

Novak Djokovic scored his first victory in Vienna since 2007.

Both players produced comfortable holds in games 11 and 12 to set up a tie break where Filip earned a set point with a smash winner at 5-5.

Novak saved it and grabbed three straight points to wrap up the breaker at 7-6 when Krajinovic sprayed a forehand error, securing the first part of the encounter after 71 minutes. Starting all over, Filip clinched the first game of the second set with a backhand winner, spoiling all that at 1-1 when his forehand found the net.

Trailing 3-1, Krajinovic produced fine shotmaking to fend off three break chances, securing the game with a service winner to remain within one break deficit. Serving at 3-2, Djokovic erased a break point with a smash winner, defending the lead and bringing the game home with an unreturned serve.

In another extended game, Filip saved a break opportunity in game seven following a poor drop shot from Novak, holding after three deuces to extend his chances. A forehand down the line winner sent Novak 5-3 up, forcing Filip to serve for staying in the match.

Krajinovic saved a match point with a service winner before Novak converted the second to seal the deal and advance into the second round.