Novak Djokovic competed in the ATP 500 in Vienna just a few weeks after losing to Rafael Nadal in the 2020 Roland Garros final. Novak made his first trip to the Austrian capital since 2007 to play Filip Krajinovic in the first round.
The younger player, Filip, capitalized on his and Novak’s years of training together to take on the world’s top player. The match lasted for about two hours, with Krajinovic holding a 5-3 lead in the first set and a set point at 6-5 in the tie break before Djokovic eventually won 7-6, 6-3.
Krajinovic wasted that set point and missed an easy smash at 6-6, but Djokovic praised his countryman and said he was the better player in the first set. Both players were on their game, making fewer mistakes and more winners during the match.
After falling behind 2-0 in the second set, Djokovic recovered to win in straight sets by breaking serve four times on eleven opportunities. The number one player in the world battled hard and saved two break points by hitting winners.
In game three, Novak held the lead with an ace down the T-line, and then he secured the first break with a volley winner at the net a few minutes later, making the score 3-1. Breaking serve at 15 in game five, Filip gained momentum and evened the match with a backhand winner down the line to bring the score to 3-3.
The 11th and 12th games were both easily held by both players, resulting in a tie. At 5-5, Filip appeared poised to take the lead after winning the game with a game winner. At 6-5, Novak was about to lose when Krajinovic made a forehand error in the 71st minute, but he came through with three straight points to close the break.
As Robson discusses Djokovic,
Robson, speaking at a Play Your Way To Wimbledon event, told Tennis365, “I think Novak Djokovic has got a huge number of fans.” There are so many devoted fans of his that whenever I call one of his matches, my Twitter feed explodes with new followers.
They’ve made a dedication. Actually, I think he has quite a few supporters. People may not cheer as loudly for them at matches as they do for Nadal and Federer, but their longevity on the court means they are better known. As far as I’m concerned, Djokovic deserves all the praise he’s getting. If history is any indication, he will go down as the greatest of all time, and for that reason alone, he deserves a great deal more acclaim.