World No. 1 Novak Djokovic was thrilled that he was able to win Belgrade in front of his home fans. Djokovic, seeded at No. 1, handed a 6-4 6*3 loss to qualifier Alex Molcan in the Belgrade final. Djokovic dropped his serve three times in the first set but claimed four breaks to still win the opener.
In the second set, Djokovic blew his first break but broke Molcan again in the eighth game before serving out for the match in the following game. “It’s been a while since I last played here in front of a crowd,” said Djokovic, per the ATP website.
“We played here one month ago [at the Serbia Open], without a crowd. To hold a trophy here after 10 years is really special and it couldn’t be better ahead of Roland Garros. I am playing well, feeling good and I have spent quality time with my family”.
Molcan was happy with the way he performed in Belgrade. “I’m feeling good and tired,” said Molcan. “I made my first ATP Tour final from qualification. I played good tennis here and I was fighting. Today, I tried as well, but it wasn’t enough.
I didn’t play badly, but I was playing against Djokovic and you have to play unbelievably well. Hopefully, I can continue to have opportunities to play at this level. It was a big lesson today to play against Novak”.
Djokovic now aims a deep French Open run
Great feeling and a boost of confidence. I am satisfied with the way I played. I am ready, hopefully I'll be able to work my way deep into the tournament. Feeling the support from crowd here was something I was looking forward to, best possible farewell before RG," Djokovic said, per Sasa Ozmo.
Djokovic was happy that Belgrade was given the license to host two ATP events this clay season. "My duty is to give back, I feel like I am contributing to the future of tennis in my country. My brother is doing a great job, but we don't run it because of business, main motivation is to help, so it doesn't have to be him if it's conflictual," Djokovic said.
"Conflict of interest is everywhere in our sport, so it is hard to talk about me and my family bringing the tournament here. We are working to keep the licences for both ATP and WTA tournaments long-term."