BELGRADE, Serbia ( Associated Press) – Top-ranked Novak Djokovic has been digging deep for a second straight match to reach the semi-finals.
BELGRADE, Serbia ( Associated Press) – Top-ranked Novak Djokovic deepened for a second straight match to reach the semi-finals of the Serbia Open with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Miomir Kekmanovic on Thursday.
Kekmanovic won the opening set without hitting a break point, but Djokovic eventually showed signs of his best performance in second and then won the final four games of the decider, his sixth match of the year.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion extended his winning streak against compatriots to 10 matches after losing to Janko Tipsarevic in Madrid in 2012.
Djokovic will now face third seed Karen Khachanov, who defeated Brazilian qualifier Thiago Monteiro 7-5, 6-4.
Djokovic also faced a tough game on Wednesday when he defeated compatriot Laslo Jere 2-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(4).
He joked that he was happy that he would not have to face another Serb in the semi-finals.
Djokovic began his clay-court season with a surprise loss to Alejandro Davydovich Fokina at the Monte Carlo Masters last week, his first since a quarter-final exit at the Dubai Tennis Championships in February. Dubai was his first tournament of the year when he was barred from playing at the Australian Open due to his unaffiliated condition, which also prevented him from playing the tournament in the United States last month.
Earlier on Thursday, second seed Andre Rublev defeated Jiri Leheka 4-6, 7-6 (1), 6-2 and Fabio Fognini defeated Aljaz Bedine 6-2, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals. .
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