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World No 1 Djokovic to face fellow Serb Laslo Djere in Belgrade opener

The world No 50 beat 18-year-old Hamad Medjedovic 6-4, 7-5 to set up his first ever meeting with Djokovic

Laslo Djere AI/Reuters/Panoramic

World No 1 Novak Djokovic will open his Serbia Open title bid on Wednesday with a clash against fellow Serb, Laslo Djere.

Djere booked his appointment with Serbia’s most famous son thanks to a 6-4, 7-5 win over another home player, teenager Hamad Medjedovic on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old took four of his five break point opportunities, the final one coming in the 11th game of the second set and he then served out with ease for victory. It was his ninth win of 2022, six of them on clay.

This will be Djokovic’s first meeting with Djere, ranked No 50, who pushed Stefanos Tsitsipas close in Monte-Carlo last week, losing 7-5, 7-6, before the Greek went on to win the title.

Djere said he will try to forget it’s Djokovic facing him across the net.

“To have a chance I need to play my best tennis,” he said. “I’m sure I’m not going to get many chances against Novak but if I get them I hope I will be able to use them and have a tough match with him.

“I will try to go point by point and not focus too much on (Djokovic).”

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