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"Never better, never firmer, never fresher, never stronger" - Novak Djokovic after reaching semifinals at Serbia Open

Novak Djokovic fashioned out thrilling comeback wins against compatriots Djere and Kecmanovic at the Serbia Open
Novak Djokovic fashioned out thrilling comeback wins against compatriots Djere and Kecmanovic at the Serbia Open
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Kristina Villanueva

Novak Djokovic carved out a repeat of his comeback victory against Laslo Djere as he ousted another countryman in Miomir Kecmanovic in three sets in the quarterfinals of the Serbia Open on Thursday.

For the second straight day, Novak Djokovic had to battle back from a set and a break down, eventually prevailing 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 against Kecmanovic.

SF BOUND‼️@DjokerNole takes out Miomir Kecmanovic 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in Belgrade.@SerbiaOpen2022 | #SerbiaOpen https://t.co/FnQ1YWiPJb

He won in the same fashion against Laslo Djere in his opening match. Djokovic needed three hours and 22 minutes to outlast Djere and two hours and 18 minutes to hold off Kecmanovic.

FIGHTER!@DjokerNole shows all his character to defeat Djere 2-6 7-6 7-6 in a marathon #SerbiaOpen encounter 😨 https://t.co/sEftdkICM5

Asked about the two encounters in his post-match interview, Djokovic remained positive, saying that he was "never better, never firmer, never fresher, never stronger."

"Never better, never firmer, never fresher, never stronger. Just strong. It is impossible for me to behave as I did 10 years ago, but the fact is that with God's help and the help of my team, I managed to recover. I’m looking forward to a day off tomorrow and can’t wait to get back on the field on Saturday," said Djokovic.

After his marathon encounter against fellow Serb Djere, Djokovic admitted that he was not in the best of form and was lacking in confidence. He still found a way to get through the following day against Kecmanovic.

#Djokovic: I am not even close to my best level, I am lacking confidence as well, but it’s not the first time it’s like that, I know how to deal with it. https://t.co/CkcYxfapr4

"I'm very pleased that I'm not going to play a Serbian player" - Novak Djokovic on his SF clash

Novak Djokovic dug deep to get past countrymen Laslo Djere and Miomir Kecmanovic at the Serbia Open
Novak Djokovic dug deep to get past countrymen Laslo Djere and Miomir Kecmanovic at the Serbia Open

Novak Djokovic has found a reprieve from squaring off against fellow Serbians. He is set to face World No. 26 Karen Khachanov in the semifinals of the Serbia Open on Saturday.

Djokovic said in his post-match interview that facing a compatriot feels very strange. He also said that he treasures the moments he gets to play in his home country, which do not come often.

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"I'm very pleased that I'm not going to play a Serbian player. It's a very strange feeling, sharing the court with your compatriot. Obviously, the crowd was phenomenal for both players. There are very rare occasions when I'm able to play at home and experience this atmosphere so I'm trying to enjoy every single moment," said Djokovic.

Djokovic is just two matches away from winning his third title at the event. The World No. 1 improved to 36-5 in matches in his home country, including a 12-2 record at the Serbia Open.


Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
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