Top seeded Novak Djokovic will look to make further inroads into the 2020 Rome Masters when he takes on fellow Serb Filip Krajinovic in his third round match on Friday, September 18. This match begins at around 3 pm local time (2 pm BST). Get the live streaming options of this Novak Djokovic v Filip Krajinovic match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Novak Djokovic v Filip Krajinovic Head to Head
This is an interesting one. They have played each other twice before this, once on tour in 2010 and then as recently as in June this year in that ill-fated Adria Tour and both times, Krajinovic won! In their first meeting at Belgrade in the Serbia Open, Krajinovic was leading by a set when Djokovic had to retire because of an injury.
Djokovic Wastes No Time
When Djokovic took to court in his second round match here in Rome, the question on everyone’s lips was whether the shenanigans of the US Open would have any bearing on how he performs here. It didn’t look like that in his 6-3, 6-2 rout of Salvatore Caruso.
Djokovic admitted he was very comfortable on court except for those moments when both he and his opponent were interrupted by some workers talking loudly over their cell-phones. That aside, there was no looking back at the US Open default and Djokovic has now taken a step closer to matching his 2019 Rome Masters performance.
Last season, Djokovic had made it all the way to the final of the Rome Masters, following on from the Madrid Masters title win he had notched just prior to that. He lost to Rafael Nadal in the title-decider and would like to get another chance against the world number two in the final.
Before that though, there is a small matter of reversing his head to head against his Serb opponent, who has shown excellent form on clay this season.
Krajinovic’s a Serious Opponent
It might work in Djokovic’s favour to have an opponent like Krajinovic so early in the tournament. That’s not saying Krajinovic cannot win, but the fact Djokovic’s form has been what it has, it would take a lot to defeat him but there could be a few like the world number 29 who could test him.
We all know Djokovic has lost just one match this season on the tour and it came by way of that default. Add all tournaments, including exhibition competitions to that, and two other players have defeated Djokovic this year. Stefanos Tsitsipas carved out a win at the Abu Dhabi Mubadala Exhibition, and it was Krajinovic who relegated Djokovic to a defeat on the Adria Tour.
While that tournament was played using the Fast4 format, it was a in that helped Krajinovic scoot to the final before he went down to Dominic Thiem. And it turned out to be Djokovic’s only loss over the six matches he played in the Adria Tour competition.
Other than that, when he is not defeating world number ones in exhibition tournaments, Krajinovic has been doing quite well on the tour as well. He was a quarterfinalist at the Cincinnati Open where he shocked Dominic Thiem in the second round, reached the third round at the US Open and has won both his first rounds here in straight sets.
He has looked so convincing against Felix Auger-Aliassime and Marco Cecchinato, if Krajinovic can hold his nerves, we could see an exciting match up.
Djokovic v Krajinovic Prediction & Tip
Djokovic is 1/5 to win this which is on expected lines given what’s gone on all season. Don’t discount Krajinovic to make it a match though, and even snatch a set probably.
Tip: Krajinovic to win a set: 5/4 (bet365)