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.
  • 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.

Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1208 GMT (2008 HKT)
Rafael Nadal of Spain watches the ball in his match against Martin Klizan of Slovakia during during day seven of the China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 3, 2014 in Beijing, China.
Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
A year that began in uncertainty for Roger Federer ended with a historic title for the 17-time grand slam champion and his country.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1716 GMT (0116 HKT)
The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
September 11, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
French Tennis player Rene Lacoste, one of France's 'Four Musketeers' who won the Davis Cup in 1932, at Wimbledon. He is wearing his embroidered crocodile motif. Original Publication: People Disc - HH0434 (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
September 9, 2014 -- Updated 0636 GMT (1436 HKT)
Marin Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanicevic by claiming a grand slam crown for Croatia, winning the U.S. Open.
September 14, 2014 -- Updated 1334 GMT (2134 HKT)
Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1321 GMT (2121 HKT)
American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
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.
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
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.