"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

World No.1 Novak Djokovic survived an early test at the Erste Bank Open Vienna as he defeated countryman Filip Krajinovic in his opening round match.

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.

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