Djokovic Tops Lopez to Win Serbia Open

by John on May 1, 2011

For Novak Djokovic, the streak goes on. The 23-year-old Serb defeated Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (4), 6-2 earlier today to win the Serbia Open in Belgrade for his fifth title of the year and the 23rd of his career. The No. 2-ranked Djokovic improved to 27-0 on the season, while winning his 29th consecutive match. Nole closed the 2010 season winning both his singles matches in Serbia’s Davis Cup triumph over France. Djokovic, who also won the Belgrade title in 2009, now stands just two wins from equalling Ivan Lendl’s 29 consecutive victories to start off a season, accomplished in 1986. Over the past 31 years, only Bjorn Borg (33 in 1980) and John McEnroe (42 in 1984) have compiled longer winning streaks to begin a season. The top-seeded Djokovic overcame a rain delay and a stern test from Lopez in the first set, saving six break points and surviving four double faults, to edge the Spaniard in a tiebreaker. The start of the second set was also delayed by rain, before Djokovic pulled away by breaking serve twice and wrapping up the win in one hour and 56 minutes. “Today I was playing for the title in front of so many people. It’s always a huge motivation for me, but also a huge responsibility with the kind of expectations that I feel,” said Djokovic of playing in front of his home-town crowd. “I was aware of that and that’s why I was maybe a little bit more nervous. I was focused and in the important moments today I played well, I was patient and the luck was on my side a little bit as well.” Djokovic served four aces, suffered six double faults and won 80 percent of his first service points. He saved all seven of his break points. Nole improved to 4-0 against Lopez, while winning his fifth career clay-court title. He now moves on to play the Mutua Madrid Open, a Masters Series event starting today.

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