Lajovic, Djokovic On Collision Course At Belgrade Open

Dusan Lajovic (photo: Srdjan Stevanovic/Starsportphoto)


Two Serbians remain on a collision course at the Belgrade Open, as Dusan Lajovic followed his compatriot and top seed Novak Djokovic into the quarterfinals of their home ATP 250 clay-court event. Both players could face each other in the penultimate stage of the tournament.

In the top half of the draw, No. 5 seed Lajovic defeated Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-4 on a sunny Wednesday afternoon at the Novak Tennis Center. The World No. 39 converted four of his 18 break-point chances to secure victory in one hour and 37 minutes.

“I felt much better compared to my opening match,” Lajovic said. “I had a good start with an early break but apart from that, I really felt good on the court and enjoyed playing and giving my best at the same time. The feeling was really great and it worked well for me. Getting the win in two sets is important.”

Lajovic will next take on Slovakian qualifier Andrej Martin, who battled past third favourite Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia 6-1, 4-6, 7-6(4). The 31-year-old Bratislava native needed almost two and a half hours to reach his fourth quarterfinal on the ATP Tour.

From Thursday’s quarterfinals on, a capacity of 1,500 spectators will be allowed to attend the matches in Belgrade.

“I hope to feel great emotions, expecting as many people as we can get. I am looking forward to play in a normal atmosphere again,” said Lajovic.

Delbonis to play Carballes Baena

In the bottom half of the draw, Federico Delbonis earned a hard-fought 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-4 win over Thiago Monteiro from Brazil. The No. 8 seed from Argentina won seven points less than his opponent but prevailed after three hours and seven minutes.

Up next for Delbonis will be Spanish qualifier Roberto Carballes Baena, who captured the title of the Serbia Open Challenger at the Novak Tennis Centre last month. He defeated No. 2 seed Gael Monfils of France 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(4) after two hours and 35 minutes.