The biggest victory of my career

Fri 21 Apr 2023

Much to the surprise of many, Dusan Lajovic defeated Novak Djokovic for the first time in his career.
The winner of the quarter-finals of the Srpska Open tournament failed to outplay Djokovic in the
previous two matches but got lucky this time. This is the biggest Lajovic’s triumph in his career so far,

“I felt comfortable on my serve and that added to my confidence during points. I’ve mixed my serve. I
noticed he was uncomfortable with return, he didn’t know what to do exactly. I was lucky enough to
rescue some break points in difficult moments. In addition, I believe I was holding up well when the
match got stressful, better than expected, and that’s what decided the match. There were many tense
moments but I managed to play my best tennis when I needed it the most”, said Lajovic.
He has also commented on his friendship with Djokovic.
"I’ve seen Novak for the first time when I was nine and we’ve been through a lot together, we
practiced together on many occasions. Anyhow, I enjoyed playing this match. It doesn’t matter if I won
or I lost. I would like to add that local crowds were phenomenal, more supportive of Djokovic, but that
only encouraged me”.
Lajovic didn’t want to analyse their previous duels.
“That somehow always manages to affect new matches with players you’ve played against in the
past. You always carry that notion at the back of your mind. I’ve tried to discern what can be positive
and what would be the negative side of analyses of previous matches. It can’t do you much good
because back then I believed I didn’t stand a chance and that I couldn’t play at the same level as him.
Today I tried to think only about my next step. I believe that’s the hardest thing to do during the match,
but once you do it, it seems simple. In my opinion, an important thing today was that I felt that I did not
allow the tension to burden me, to overcome me, I would manage to eliminate the tension I was
feeling and not feel the same tension during the next point. That made a huge difference”.
The victory against the best tennis player in the world boosts confidence but he doesn’t know what
will this victory mean for his future.
“This is the greatest victory in my career so far. The first triumph against someone like Novak, Roger
or Rafa. It’s not the same kind of victory as other victories. It is true that I defeated second seed Daniil
Medvedev once in 2019, but that’s not the same as this. It’s difficult to foresee the future at this
moment. I’m trying to stay in the moment but this victory adds to your confidence, when you know you
can achieve something like this. I believe that it will most certainly serve as an encouragement for
future matches against tennis players of this rank”.
He also commented on the final moments of the match against Djokovic.
“Honestly, the only thing I was thinking about during tie-break was to try to win my two serves. When I
won the first point at 6:3 I was thinking along the lines of ‘OK. let’s win this point now and whatever
will be, will be’. I believe that I got lucky there at 6:6, I’m not sure if that smash was going in or out. I
felt as if I were losing control during the entire tie-break, and when I was back at 6:6, then I felt I might
have a chance. When we played the match point, I told myself to play the point to the end without
foolish decisions; if it the rally should mean 30 shots, then let it be”, Lajovic was honest in his
comments on the final moments of the match”.