Serbia's Novak Djokovic beat compatriot Janko Tipsarevic 6-2, 4-6, 6-0 on Wednesday to book his place in the quarterfinals of Serbia Open, a 450,000 euros (some 603,000 U.S. dollars) ATP tour event on clay in Belgrade.
Top-seeded Djokovic, who was given a bye in the first round, played excellently in the first set. Tipsarevic fought back in the second set to force a decider.
The final set shaped to be a lot like the first, it was clear that Novak was in much better shape, and after nearly two hours of the Serbian showdown, and easily secured his victory.
"It was a great match and the atmosphere is great," said Djokovic, whose family helped bring the ATP tournament to Serbia this year for the first time after buying the license to the ABM Amro Open.
In the quarterfinals, Djokovic will face another countryman fifth-seeded Victor Troicki, who beat Marcel Granollers of Spain 6-3, 6-4 to advance into the last eight.
The Serbia Open, which was ceremoniously opened on Tuesday evening, would last until Sunday. Djokovic, the world number three, is the odds-on favorite to win the tournament, although the 21-year-old expects strong challenges.
(Xinhua News Agency May 8, 2009)