29 May 2021: Belgrade Open: Novak Djokovic defeats Molcan, wins 83rd career title
World number one Novak Djokovic has secured the 83rd title of his career by defeating Alex Molcan in the Belgrade Open final. The Serbian maestro outclassed first-time ATP Tour finalist Alex Molcan 6-4, 6-3 in 88 minutes at the Novak Tennis Center. Djokovic has captured his third title in Belgrade, having won in 2009 and 2011 previously. Here is more.
Match: How did the match pan out?
Although Djokovic entered the match as favorite, Slovakia's Molcan won six of the first seven points and broke the former's serve. However, Djokovic brought in all his experience, and won the first set 6-4. The Serbian star lost his serve three times in the first set. In the second set, Molcan broke the serve of Djokovic for a sixth time before the latter won.
Record: Fifth-most Open Era titles
Djokovic, who won a record-extending ninth Australian Open crown, improves to a 20-3 record in the season. He now has 83 Open Era (since April 1968) singles titles, the fifth-most after Jimmy Connors (109), Roger Federer (103), Ivan Lendl (94), and Rafael Nadal (88). Earlier, Djokovic had claimed his 952nd Open Ear win, having surpassed the tally of Guillermo Vilas (951).
Elation: Holding this trophy after 10 years is really special: Djokovic
After the match, an elated Djokovic said, "It's been a while since I played here in front of a crowd. We played here one month ago 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."
Fact: WATCH: The winning moment!
Lesson: Molcan was eyeing his first ATP Tour title
World number 255, Molcan, came into the week with a 0-2 tour-level match record. "I made my first ATP Tour final from qualification. I played good tennis here and I was fighting. I didn't play badly, but I was playing against Djokovic and you have to play unbelievably well. It was a big lesson today to play against Novak," he said.
French Open : French Open: Djokovic to face Tennys Sandgren in first round
Djokovic will now face America's Tennys Sandgren in the first round of Roland Garros, starting May 30 in Paris. In the French Open 2021 draw, the former has been placed in a half that comprises his rivals, Nadal and Roger Federer. Djokovic, who owns a single French Open title, has lost to Nadal seven out of eight times in the prestigious tournament.
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Also see: Belgrade Open: Novak Djokovic beats Andrej Martin, reaches final
Novak Djokovic turns 34: Presenting his monumental records
310 weeks and counting! Djokovic equals all-time record of Federer
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