BELGRADE (Reuters) – Dominic Thiem and home crowd favourite Filip Krajinovic reached the final of Novak Djokovic’s tournament as the world number one broke down in tears in front of a packed 4,000 crowd on Sunday.
Tennis – Adria Tour – Belgrade, Serbia – June 14, 2020 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his match against Germany’s Alexander Zverev REUTERS/Marko Djurica
World number three Thiem beat Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets to set up the clash with Krajinovic.
Having brushed aside fellow Serb Viktor Troicki, Krajinovic was left hoping the result of the Djokovic v Alexander Zverev clash would play into his hands.
It did, as Djokovic won by two sets to one and the result meant that all three finished with a 2-1 win-loss record and an identical 5-3 set difference in their section.
Krajinovic, who stunned world number one Djokovic on Saturday after losing to Zverev, squeezed through on the basis of having the best games differential among the three.
At the end of his contest with Zverev, Djokovic shocked the capacity 4,000 crowd with an outpouring of emotions.
“I am not crying because I got knocked out of the tournament, I am just overwhelmed by emotion because this reminds me of my childhood,” the 33-year-old told the crowd as he received a standing ovation from his compatriots.
“It’s been an emotional few days and I want to thank everyone who made this possible. The important thing after this match is that we have one of our own in the final. I love you all and thank you so much for turning up.”
The tournament is the first leg of the charity event called The Adria Tour, with the second leg taking place in Croatia’s coastal resort Zadar next weekend.
The third leg due in Montenegro on June 27-28 was cancelled on Saturday over coronavirus concerns while the final leg is to be staged in Bosnia’s city Banja Luka on July 3 and 4.
Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Pritha Sarkar