Novak Djokovic equals Guillermo Vilas on Open Era wins list

With an opening-round win in Belgrade, the Serbian has tied with Guillermo Vilas for the fifth-most wins in the Open Era.

File photo - Novak Djokovic in action in Rome; Credit: ATP Tour Twitter

Novak Djokovic’s straight-sets victory against Mats Moraing on Tuesday at the Belgrade Open has helped the Serb match a unique record. With his 6-2, 7-6 win, he has tied with Guillermo Vilas for the fifth-most wins in the Open Era. “I’m thankful for that,” Djokovic said after the match. “Obviously that also inspires me more to keep going.”

“It’s not my main priority, but it comes as a consequence of all the quality work and all the results that I have [had] over the years. I’ll try to reach even the further places on the ranking ahead of me with wins in the years to come.”

Getting his 951th win wasn’t an easy task. After a straight forward first set, Djokovic was made to work hard for the victory on Tuesday in the second. “He didn’t give me much rhythm,” Djokovic said. “It’s difficult tactically to be clear with yourself in every moment, what you want to do against players like this, when they’re going for all or nothing.”

The Serbian World No.1 will next take on Federico Coria in the last eight. If Djokovic beats Coria in the quarterfinals in their first ATP head-to-head meeting, he will leapfrog Vilas in the list. Rafael Nadal is in fourth place with 1,022 and Djokovic still has a long way to catch him.

The Serbian might have never played the 29-year-old Coria before, but he has faced his older brother Guillermo Coria four times. “How he walks, he reminds me a lot of his older brother on the court,” Djokovic said of the younger Coria.

“He’s a fighter like his brother and doesn’t give up, not even one point. He’s got that spirit of fighting and making sure that the player beats him rather than he beats himself. And he loves to play on clay, this is his preferred surface.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Coria managed a comfortable 6-3, 6-2 win over Pablo Cuevas. Djokovic is predicting a tough match against him in the next round.

“He will not have much to lose,” Djokovic added. “I’m sure he’s really motivated to play his best tennis and he’s probably going to [get] some really good advice from his older brother. But I’m looking forward to that. It’s a great encounter for me and some really good clay-court tennis coming up.”




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