A win and a defeat for Novak Djokovic as he returns at Adria Tour in Belgrade
Novak Djokovic made a winning return at his own Adria Tour event in Belgrade, only to be upstaged by a ball boy before losing his second match.
The world No 1 was everywhere on the opening day of singles action at the exhibition series.
It is his eponymous foundation which supports the exhibition series, the opening weekend of which takes place at the tennis academy which bears his name and he was competing in the Novak Group.
The 33-year-old was well on the way to beating Victor Troicki in his first match of the day when his fellow Serb handed over his racket to a young court-side helper, who returned twice from a Djokovic serve before hitting a forehand winner at the net.
“He will remember that for a very long time!”
A moment to treasure for a ball boy at the #AdriaTour as he wins a point against world No 1 Novak Djokovic.
📺 Watch live on Eurosport 2 and Eurosport Player pic.twitter.com/H8WvoAcpX1
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) June 13, 2020
Troicki summoned the boy over and patted his shoulder, the latest example of the event’s lack of social distancing, which allowed fans to sit side by side in the stands, attendants to collect towels and players to hug and shake hands.
The moment of levity done, Djokovic broke to love to complete a 4-1 4-1 win. Grigor Dimitrov had earlier beaten Dusan Lajovic 4-3 3-4 4-1 in a high-quality contest, while Damir Dzumhur had to retire with injury early in his match with Dominic Thiem. Alexander Zverev bested Filip Krajinovic in a tie-break to settle a final-set decider.
But Krajinovic would return to get a win under his belt and it was the big scalp of Djokovic as he stunned the 17-time Grand Slam winner 2-4, 4-2, 4-1.
Nikola Milojevic was called up as Dzumhur’s replacement and will line up against Dimitrov in the evening session.
Meanwhile, the third event of the Adria Tour, due to take place in Montenegro at the end of the month, has been cancelled by local organisers.
Follow us on Twitter @T365Official.
The ATP Finals in London from 2009-2020 by numbers: 850 million viewers, $78.8m in prize money
Impressive figures from the ATP Finals at The O2 Arena.
Juan Martin del Potro eyes Olympics, but says ‘I will continue to lie to myself’ if dream doesn’t materialise
Juan Martin del Potro dreaming of the Olympics.
On This Day in 2015: Andy Murray inspires Great Britain to Davis Cup victory
Great Britain had not won the Davis Cup since 1936.
Recalling how Britain won the 2015 Davis Cup final amid a backdrop of terror
Kevin Palmer recalls the dramatic 2015 Davis Cup final.
EXCLUSIVE – On the fifth anniversary of Britain’s Davis Cup win, captain Leon Smith reflects on glorious year
On this day five years ago, Britain won the Davis Cup.
Novak Djokovic ‘met the goal he set out at the beginning of the season’, says his coach
A good season for Novak Djokovic.
Tennis Top 10
ATP top 10 prize-money earners in 2020: Novak Djokovic at No 1 with two surprise names on the list
Novak Djokovic sitting pretty at No 1.
WTA to adopt ATP-style categories with events changed to WTA Masters, WTA 500, WTA 250?
Changes in line for WTA categories, according to a report.
Dominic Thiem hopes to emulate his coach and experience ‘incredible’ medal winning emotions at Olympics
Dominic Thiem sets sights on Tokyo Olympics.
British tennis given a boost as the LTA agrees a new partnership with Dunlop
LTA ends challenging year on a high with Dunlop deal.