Berrettini, Djokovic Advance At Serbia Open

Matteo Berrettini (photo: Srdjan StevanovicStarsportphoto)


The top two seeds of the Serbia Open have both booked their spot in the semi-finals of the ATP 250 clay-court event in Belgrade. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic remained untroubled during his 6-1, 6-3 win over fellow Serbian and eighth favourite Miomir Kecmanovic on Friday afternoon.

Djokovic saved four of the five break points he faced and capitalized on five of his own break-point chances to advance in one hour and 15 minutes.

“I think personally I’m feeling very well on court, moving well, hitting the ball well and, of course, enjoying the home court advantage,” Djokovic said. “So I’m really excited to go out in the semi-finals on the court again tomorrow.”

The 33-year-old will next take on Aslan Karatsev. The No. 3 seed from Russia edged out Italian qualifier Gianluca Mager 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 24 minutes.

Berrettini beats Krajinovic

Earlier at the Novak Tennis Center, Matteo Berrettini defeated No. 5 seed Filip Krajinovic of Serbia 6-4, 6-4. The second favourite from Italy struck nine aces and won 81 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after one hour and 27 minutes.

“I worked a lot with my coach to improve various aspects of my game. The first serve was very good for me today, and that is a consequence of believing in myself. If I serve well, it will usually be quick and strong. I worked on improving it for years. Regardless of the fact that it’s a slow court, I try to make good serves on clay too. But that’s not always easy, because I like to play aggressively. After the serve, I like to make the next hit strong as well, and I managed to do that today,” said Berrettini.

The World No. 10 was particularly happy that he managed to improve his form from match to match.

“It’s never easy to play after you recover from an injury. I played well today, I’ve been feeling great lately. I think I can soon reach ideal form. I’m satisfied that I played a good match,” Berrettini concluded.

Up next for the 25-year-old Rome native will be Taro Daniel. The lucky loser from Japan rallied from a set down to overcome Federico Delbonis of Argentina 4-6, 6-1, 7-5. The encounter lasted two hours and 18 minutes.