Novak Djokovic cruised into the quarter-finals of ATP Belgrade with a straight sets 6-2 7-6 victory over Mats Moraing.
The Serbian is preparing himself for the French Open next week in front of his home crowd and the world number one was in a funny mood as he navigated a tricky second set to record the 951st ATP win of his career.
Djokovic raced through the first set in just 39 minutes, winning 78% off his first serve and converting two break points.
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Moraing struggled to keep pace with Djokovic and was forced to rescue two break points in his first serving game.
The German eventually wilted under the pressure in the fifth game and lost the next three games to relinquish the first set to Djokovic.
Moraing managed to start the second set positively, making Djokovic dig deep to maintain his service game through several tight games.
The German dropped his first serving game of the second set, but broke straight back, much to the frustration of Djokovic who was increasingly becoming more and more vocal at courtside.
Djokovic was then given a warning for his protests and then squandered three break points in the fifth game.
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The 34-year-old continued to fume with himself and was given another point violation for smashing his racket.
Djokovic responded to falling 4-3 behind with two quick aces to level the set and then needed all his experience to fend off Moraing’s efforts to see out the set in the tenth game.
Now serving for the match, Djokovic was again pegged back as an inspired Moraing broke him to force a tie-break.
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The tie-break between the world’s number one player and number 253 began with back-to-back breaks before Djokovic finally took control and eventually saw out the match by winning the tie-break 7-4.
After such an intense second set, Djokovic was full of praise for Moraing.
“He was going for some shots today that were amazing,” he said.
Credit to him for playing some bold tennis, all or nothing.
"It’s not easy to plays someone like him today, but it’s a good win and hopefully the next match will be even better.”
Djokovic had home advantage in Belgrade and the victory brings him level with Argentine legend Federico Coria in list for most ATP wins.
Only four players have won more than Djokovic including his rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, with Jimmy Connors leading the list with 1,274 victories.
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