Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Djokovic wins Vienna opener to close on Sampras record




Djokovic wins Vienna opener to close on Sampras record

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Novak Djokovic needs one win to ensure he finishes the year as world No1 for the sixth time. AFP

Djokovic wins Vienna opener to close on Sampras record

Novak Djokovic defeated Filip Krajinovic in the first round in Vienna on Tuesday to edge closer to Pete Sampras’s all-time record of ending the year as world No1 on six occasions.

Djokovic beat compatriot Krajinovic 7-6 (8/6), 6-3 and needs to win his next match in Austria against Borna Coric to ensure he equals the achievement of his childhood idol.

The 33-year-old Serb has been the top-ranked player at the end of a season five times – in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2018.

He shares that mark with career rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Sampras achieved the feat six years in succession between 1993 and 1998.

Djokovic was playing in Vienna for the first time since he won the title there in 2007, and dropped serve twice in a tricky opening set.

Krajinovic served for the first set at 5-4 and then held a set point in the tie-break but couldn’t take advantage.

A couple of breaks in the second set allowed Djokovic to clinch victory – his 38th in 40 matches this year.

Djokovic said: “First set, I think he was the better player. He was serving for the first set and I was lucky. He missed a smash at 6/6 in the tie-break.

“A few points here and there can change the momentum of the match. In the second set, I stepped it up, I played better and I am just pleased with the way I finished the match.”

The 17-time Grand Slam title winner is appearing at his first tournament since his heavy loss to Nadal in the Roland Garros final two weeks ago.

Djokovic is also attempting to beat Federer’s all-time best of 310 weeks spent on top of the rankings.

On Monday, Djokovic began his 292nd week in total as world No1.

Djokovic and US Open winner Dominic Thiem are two of six top 10 players in the draw in the Austrian capital.

Second seed Thiem overcame Vitaliy Sachko 6-4, 7-5 in his opening match at home.

The Ukrainian lucky loser was making his tour-level debut, having entered the draw after Kei Nishikori pulled out due to injury.

Chile’s Cristian Garin shook off the frustration of losing a lengthy second set tie-break to take down Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 6-7 (9/11), 6-3.

He will face Thiem for a place in the quarter-finals.

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Cambodia at ‘most critical moment’, Hun Sen warns

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the first community transmission of Covid-19 in Cambodia has led the country to the “most critical moment” that warranted urgent, large-scale operations to contain the pandemic. Hun Sen, who confirmed the first local transmission on November 28, said the source of

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there