Laslo Djere and Novak Djokovic will meet this morning for a place in the round of 16 at the US Open. Serbs, friends, colleagues, but now rivals. Both share a great relationship of friendship and respect. However, Djere will seek to strike a blow to knock down his compatriot. Last year it wasn’t too far off. Will he be able to face a plugged-in Nole now?
“I will really try to approach it like any other match, like the third round of the US Open. My goal is to go out on court, fight for every point and play my best tennis. I think that will be the key against Novak,” he confessed. You guys in it US Open.
Djokovic invited him to play doubles in Dubai 2015 when he was still outside the top 250
“I was very happy, it was a great opportunity. We did some practice sessions and played doubles. I also got to see what the circuit looks like at an ATP 500, which was a really nice experience and useful for my future career. I saw where I wanted to be and it also gave me some motivation to keep working hard and reach that level one day, which luckily I finally did.”
Since then they know each other very well due to playing together in the Davis Cup and sharing training time
“In training the atmosphere is a bit more relaxed. You feel freer to try some things that you might not dare to try in a match. But his focus and intensity is more or less the same in practice as it is in a match and that’s something I’m trying to do as well.”
They have only met once: in a tight match at the Belgrade 2022 tournament that ended on Nole’s side 2-6 7-6(6) 7-6(4)
“Obviously he wasn’t in his best shape then, but again I realized I can play against him and on other occasions as well when I’ve played top 10 I know I can play those guys. They sure are on a different level, especially Novak. But I think I can have a good match with him. And now he is playing much better than then. So I won’t rely too much on that experience from last year. I will try to concentrate on this game”.
What Djokovic said about his compatriot before their clash
“He is in a great moment, displaying the best tennis of his career on a hard court. I am very happy to see how he is evolving because he is one of the hardest-working boys on the circuit. A discreet, humble guy who takes great care of himself. He is a great “He is a fighter and I think he will get great results soon. He has overcome very complicated family problems and that testifies to his mental resilience. We know each other very well and I think it will be a good show. I wish him the best, except for our match,” he said. Djokovic at a press conference.
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