A combative Mats Moraing was not enough to twist Novak Djokovic’s arm in his native Belgrade, Serbia. The German, who is ranked 253 in the ATP ranking, prolonged the contest for more than one hour and 40 minutes, but ended up succumbing in two sets: 6-2 and 7-6 (4).
That forced tie break in the second, against one of the best receivers, if not the best, on the circuit, is his great achievement. Even more so if it is taken into account that he suffered two breaks in that partial and managed to return both. He was even down 5-4 in the tiebreaker, with a chance to win the set.
The door was closed by Djokovic, who had scored the first with breaks in the fifth and seventh games, and now the Balkan will be measured in the quarterfinals with the Argentine Coria, who beat the Uruguayan Cuevas (6-3 and 6-2 ). This is the second ATP tournament hosted by Belgrade so far this year. The first, in mid-April, was won by Berrettini after Nole lost in the semifinals to Karatsev. Now the number one aspires to lift a trophy at home before going to Roland Garros, whose preliminary phase is played this week.