Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Djokovic defeats Troicki in all-Serbian clash; Del Potro survives scare

February 26, 2013 -- Updated 1812 GMT (0212 HKT)
Serbian world No. 1 Novak Djokovic won three consecutive titles in Dubai between 2009 and 2011.
Serbian world No. 1 Novak Djokovic won three consecutive titles in Dubai between 2009 and 2011.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • World No. 1 Novak Djokovic into the second round of the Dubai Tennis Championships
  • Djokovic defeats fellow Serbian Victor Troicki 6-1 6-4 in just over an hour
  • The 25-year-old won three consecutive titles in Dubai between 2009 and 2011
  • Juan Martin del Potro saves three match points in victory over Marcos Baghdatis

(CNN) -- World No. 1 Novak Djokovic began his quest for a fourth title at the Dubai Tennis Championships with a straight forward victory over fellow Serbian Victor Troicki.

The 25-year-old won three consecutive titles in Dubai between 2009 and 2011 before 17-time grand slam champion Roger Federer triumphed last year.

Djokovic, who won the first major of the year at the Australian Open in January, is playing in his first ATP Tour event as he looks to maintain his unbeaten start to the season.

His victory in Melbourne raised the prospect that Djokovic, who has won five of the last nine grand slam titles, could complete a clean sweep of the majors for the first time since Rod Laver in 1969.

Read: Tennis business - Andy Murray's five-star hotel venture

Asked whether he could go on another run like the one at the start of the 2011 season that saw him unbeaten for 43 matches he said in an on-court interview: "Yes I am definitely am (on a streak).

How Novak Djokovic stays on top
Djokovic: 'My dreams came true'
Djokovic beats Federer in ATP final
Tennis stars take on the quick fire quiz
The drought in U.S. men's tennis

"But I am not thinking about it or trying to better the one I had in 2011, because it's really hard to ask from myself something which may be impossible.

"But knowing that I have done it gives me that mental edge and confidence I need in to approach every tournament with self-belief."

Djokovic enjoys an impressive record over Troicki, losing just once in their last 13 encounters, and broke his opponent's first service game to set the tone for the match.

Though the world No. 44 put up a better fight in the second set, Djokovic rarely looked in any danger as he wrapped up the match in just over an hour.

"Because I have not played for a while I was extremely focused and committed to starting well," Djokovic added.

"I played really, really well in the first set. I read his serve well, and I was aggressive in the court. So altogether I am satisfied with my performance and I hope I can continue."

Elsewhere, the No. 4 seed Juan Martin del Potro was forced to save three match points during a hard fought 4-6 6-4 7-6 victory over Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis.

The Argentinean, who won the 14th ATP title of his career in Rotterdam recently, came close to losing the contest at 4-5 in the deciding set but battled back to take it on a tiebreak.

He's a great player," del Potro told the ATP Tour's official website. "He fights like me every point, and we had fantastic rallies. I'm so glad to beat him tonight in Dubai.

"I played fantastic forehands to keep playing this match. Then in the end, of course, you need a little bit of luck to win these kinds of matches, and I think I played solid on important points in the third."

Tomas Berdych, the No. 3 seed, had no such problems as he accounted for American wild card Rajeev Ram 6-1 6-3 in less than an hour.

The 27-year-old was runner up to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at last week's Marseille Open, despite having a match point. He made the Dubai semis in 2011, losing to Djokovic.

Nikolay Davydenko edged past the No. 6 seed, Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia. The Russian, who is retiring at the end of this year, triumphed 6-0 7-5.

There were also victories on Thursday for Marcel Granollers, of Spain, Romania's Victor Hanescu, Tobias Kamke, from Germany and Russia's Dmitry Tursunov.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1252 GMT (2052 HKT)
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1102 GMT (1902 HKT)
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1101 GMT (1901 HKT)
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
Rafael Nadal is still the "King of Clay" -- but his crown has slipped a bit, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 2359 GMT (0759 HKT)
British tennis player Elena Baltacha won 11 ITF Pro Circuit titles during her 16-year playing career.
The Ukrainian-born, British tennis star loses fight against liver cancer, just a few weeks after revealing that she was battling the disease.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
Suisse's Belinda Bencic returns the ball to France's Alize Cornet during the second match of the Fed Cup first round tennis tie France vs Switzerland on February 8, 2014 at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis."
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1800 GMT (0200 HKT)
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain sails a boat during day two of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.
ADVERTISEMENT