The first edition of the Adria Tour kicked off on Saturday afternoon in Belgrade, with three top-10 players competing in front of a packed crowd. In the first match of the event, Grigor Dimitrov prevailed against Dusan Lajovic 4-3, 3-4, 4-1 in an hour and 22 minutes, earning four breaks from ten opportunities and giving serve away three times to emerge at the top.
The home player grabbed a break in the third game, repelling four break chances in the next one to extend the advantage and serving for the set at 3-2. Dimitrov broke back on the third opportunity, leveling the score and gathering boost before the tie break that he won 7-2.
They shared four breaks in set number two, with Lajovic missing a chance to close it on his serve at 3-1, suffering a break at love but taking the tie break 7-5 to send the clash into a decider. Starting all over, the Bulgarian barely lost a point on serve and grabbed a break at 2-1 to control the pace and earn the triumph.
Dominic Thiem spent a couple of minutes on the court against Damir Dzumhur, with the Bosnian retiring in the third game due to an injury. Dominic had already played seven matches at home in Australia, shaping up his form and hoping for another good result in Belgrade before joining Ultimate Tennis Showdown in France.
The crowd favorite Novak Djokovic made a great start, beating Viktor Troicki 4-1, 4-1 in less than 40 minutes. Novak lost only three points behind the first serve, fending off the only break chance in the first game and never looking back.
He stole Viktor’s serve three times, even having a chance to play against a kid in the first set, as Troicki thought he would do a better job than him. In set number two, Novak clinched breaks in games one and five to move over the top and prepare for the clash against Filip Krajinovic.
In the last match of the daily program, Alexander Zverev ousted Filip Krajinovic 0-4, 4-3, 4-3 in an hour and a half, overcoming a terrible start to prevail in sets two and three. The German got broken five times and scored three, staying in touch until the tie break in sets he won to cross the finish line first.
Krajinovic was off to a perfect start, taking the opening six games for a 4-0, 2-0 advantage, looking good to topple the better-ranked opponent. Alexander bounced back with a break in the third game of the second set, wasting his chances at 2-2 but winning the tie break 7-5 to extend the duel.
Filip fought back from 3-1 down in the decider, saving the match point in the sixth game to survive until the tie break that Zverev won 7-2 to notch the first win at the Adria Tour.