The Adria Tour tennis began on Saturday with Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev leading the action in front of a 4000-strong audience in Belgrade.
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While world number one Djokovic began the day on a winning note by defeating Viktor Troicki 4-1, 4-1, he was stunned in his second round-robin match by Filip Krajinovic. Djokovic went down to the 32nd-ranked Serb 2-4, 4-2, 4-1.
Meanwhile both Zverev and Thiem made perfect starts to lead their respective groups, winning both their matches.
Zverev almost looked like he would be going Djokovic’s way against Krajinovic though when he fell a set behind, losing his opener 4-0. He was down 2-0 in the next before came back to win the next two but needed tie-breakers in both before he edged out Krajinovic.
The German then continued with his winning streak as he crushed Troicki 4-1, 4-1 to end the day at the top of the standings in the Djokovic Group.
In the Thiem Group, Dominic Thiem also won both his matches which puts him in contention for a place in the final to be played on Sunday.
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Thiem did not spend too much time on court when Damir Dzumhur had to retire from his match in the third game of the first set. However, much like Zverev, Thiem also had to fight and struggle in his second match before he won against Dusan Lajovic.
Lajovic held a match-point in the final set before Thiem came back to clinch it 1-4, 4-1, 4-3 (6).
Grigor Dimitrov ended the day at 1-1 when he edged past Lajovic in his opener, 4-3 (2), 3-4 (5), 4-1, but lost to Nikola Milojevic 4-1, 4-3 (4). Milojevic was a replacement for Dzumhur after the latter withdrew from the tournament because of his injury.
The top-placed player from both groups make it to the final, and with one round of matches still to be played. The matches on Sunday will have Djokovic taking on Zverev, Lajovic facing Milojevic, Krajinovic playing Troicki, and Thiem and Dimitrov going head to head.
A win for Thiem and Zverev will take them to the final but a loss for either will allow the others a chance.