Djokovic Shockingly Crashes Out Of Home Event In Banja Luka

Djokovic Shockingly Crashes Out Of Home Event In Banja Luka

by Balasz Virag

Last updated

The start of the clay-court season is far from what Novak Djokovic imagined as he crashed out of the 2023 Srpska Open.

The clay-court part of the season started for the Serb in Monte Carlo at an ATP 1000 event after missing two events of the same category in the United States. In Monte Carlo, Djokovic lost already in the third round to Lorenzo Musetti, but he was never really good at that particular event.

The reason for that is that the courts in the Monte-Carlo Country Club are very slow and that doesn't really fit the 22-time Grand Slam champion. However, when he came to Banja Luka for his home ATP 250 event organized by his family, Djokovic was surprised to find out that the courts there are the slowest he's ever played on.

Despite struggling, the Serb could beat 18-year-old Luca van Assche in the second round, but not only slow courts were bothering him. Djokovic admitted also that he's struggling with an elbow injury and so his fans had to be cautious heading into the quarterfinal match against Dusan Lajovic.

Djokovic struggled in the first set, but it wasn't his game that would be that bad, but mostly effectivity. Throughout the opening set, the 22-time major winner had 11 break points, and he used only one of his opportunities.

On the other hand, Lajovic had only two chances to break his opponent, and he used both and that proved to be too costly for the more-experienced Serbian. Lajovic won the first set 6-4 and he headed into the second set with an advantage.

In the second set, the number of break points was even. Both players had five chances to break, but this time the effectivity was an issue for both, and so a tie-break had to decide the second set.

Cheered on by the crowd in Banja Luka, Djokovic built a quick lead after one mini-break and it was looking well for him as he had three set points, leading 6-3. But Lajovic managed to win the following five points and stun the world no. 1, winning 6-4, 7-6(6).

Lajovic will now focus on the semifinal match against the winner of the quarterfinal clash between Miomir Kecmanovic and Jiri Lehecka. On the other hand, Djokovic will want to prepare for the upcoming 2023 Madrid Open, and he will want to use the fact that Rafael Nadal won't be there and get ready for their potential clash at the Roland Garros.


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