Novak Djokovic lost to a fellow Serb for the first time in 11 years in the quarterfinals of the Srpska Open. Dusan Lajovic won 6-4 7-6 (6) to down a world No. 1-ranked player for the first time on Friday. “It is the biggest win of my career,” Lajovic said on court. “The emotions are very mixed because I’m playing here in front of the home town and I’m also playing against Nole, who is a good friend and he’s a hero of our country. I didn’t even think it was going to be possible, but it happened.”
Djokovic converted only one of 16 break chances, and missed three set points in the tiebreaker. His previous loss to a fellow Serb was in 2012 to Janko Tipsarevic in Madrid.
“Dusan is a fantastic person, great guy,” Djokovic said.
A story to tell for a lifetime _
“Someone I’ve known for a very long time, since he started playing professional tennis. So many times on the Davis Cup team together, trained together. I’m happy for him, to be honest. He deserved to win today.” Following his third loss of the year, Djokovic moves on to the Madrid Open next week.
Alcaraz and Tsitsipas advance to Barcelona quarterfinals
Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz overcame windy conditions to advance to the quarterfinals of the Barcelona Open with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut. Stefanos Tsitsipas also reached the last eight in Barcelona, defeating Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-2, while Casper Ruud lost to 15th-seeded Francisco Cer?dolo 7-6 (5), 6-3. Alcaraz was broken once in the first set and twice in the second but still managed to close out the match at the Rafa Nadal center court, winning the final by 11 points and ending it with an ace.
“I’m happy to have advanced, it was a complicated match against a tough opponent and with difficult wind conditions,” said the top-seeded Alcaraz. “You have to adapt and find solutions in situations like this. It was very difficult to play at my best level today, and I’m sure it was for Roberto as well. All you can do is keep working out there as best as you can.” can.”
It was the second consecutive straight-set win for the 19-year-old Alcaraz, who is trying to become the first repeat champion in Barcelona since Nadal won three consecutive titles from 2016-18.
Alcaraz’s next opponent will be another Spaniard, 10th-seeded Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who defeated Emil Ruusuvuori 6-4, 7-5. Alcaraz is 9-1 against the Spaniard, with his only loss coming to Nadal in last year’s Indian Wells semifinals.