"There is extra pressure to a match when you play someone that you know very well" - Djokovic expresses relief following opening round victory over Krajinovic in Vienna
In an all-Serbian affair, Djokovic proved to be superior as he saved a set point in the first set before prevailing 7-6(6) 6-3 to win his 38th match of the year.
“I was lucky in the first set… We are good friends, we train a lot together and it is never easy to play someone that you are very close to,” said Djokovic after his victory. “He is a very nice guy and I have known him since he was very young. I followed him, I tried to be there as a friend, as a mentor. We go back a long way.
We practiced a few times together before coming to Vienna. The draw was tough for us to face each other, but there is always extra pressure and importance to a match when you play someone that you know very well.”
The reigning Australian Open champion improved to 2-1 against his compatriot, and added 45 FedEx ATP ranking points to his already impressive tally. He is hoping to finish the year ranked as World No.1, tying Pete Sampras for a record sixth time.
“In the first set, I think he was the better player. He was serving for the first set and I was lucky. He missed a smash at 6/6 in the tie-break,” added Djokovic. “A few points here and there can change the momentum of the match. In the second set, I stepped it up, I played better and I am just pleased with the way I finished the match.”
The 2007 champion will face Borna Coric in the second round, as the Croat defeated American Taylor Fritz 6-4 6-4 on Monday.