Home » ATP Banja Luka: Despite struggling, Novak Djokovic defeats Luca Van Assche
ATP Banja Luka: Despite struggling, Novak Djokovic defeats Luca Van Assche
Despite having a right elbow ailment, Novak Djokovic chose to compete in the domestic ATP 250 competition in Banja Luka. The youngest top-100 player, Luca Van Assche, was the opponent for Novak in the second round. Novak won 6-7, 6-1, 6-2 in two hours and 38 minutes.
The world number one dropped a close opening match after blowing three set points in the 12th game on the return. Luca outperformed the top player in the world during the exchanges, showcasing his exceptional talent and capacity for communication. But Novak intervened in set two and defeated the up-and-comer to go to the quarterfinal.
Djokovic broke twice and made six breaks, mostly in sets two and three when he outplayed his opponent. In the first eight games of the match, they were evenly matched with no chances for the returning players.
In Banja Luka, Novak Djokovic defeated Luca Van Assche in three sets.
In game eight, the Frenchman maintained his position at 15 and secured a 4-4 tie.
In game nine, Luca created break opportunities and smashed a backhand down the line winner. After Novak made a forehand mistake, he won the first and served for the match at 5-4. In order to extend the set and his chances, Djokovic remained composed and broke back at the very last second.
At 5-6 in the set, Van Assche served to stay in it and was put to the test. With excellent hitting, a teen saved three set points and held to institute a tie break. After 73 minutes, Luca won the set with a service winner at 6-4 after Novak fell behind 3-1 and played a few careless shots.
In the second set, Djokovic got off to a fast start, connecting on 17 of his 18 first serves and applying constant pressure to the opposition. The world number one gained advantage with a break in game three and maintained that lead (4-2) with a forehand crosscourt winner in game six.
In order to create a 5-3 lead in the eighth game, the Serb forced the opponent’s error. He then won three set points on the return in the following game. To finish the set 6-3 and force a deciding, Novak won the second game. As the fourth set got underway, they traded breaks, and Djokovic got another one in game four to go up 3-1.
Van Assche served to stay in the match in game eight after cutting the deficit to 4-2 in game 6. In order to win the set 6-2 and advance to the quarterfinals, Novak earned another break.