World no. 1 Novak fell in the Banja Luka quarter-final, losing to his compatriot Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 7-6 after two hours and 29 minutes. Lajovic won only four games in four sets against Djokovic in the previous two matches, and it all changed today.
Novak was again far from his best, struggling to find his strokes and squandering a 6-3 advantage in the second set’s tie break to propel the opponent into the semi-final
. Lajovic won nine points more than Djokovic and fended off an incredible 15 out of 16 break points!
Novak lost serve two times from seven chances offered to his rival and failed to introduce a decider and remain in contention. Dusan broke in the encounter’s third game and defended break points in the next one for 3-1. Lajovic struggled behind the initial shot again in game six, erasing four break points to remain in front and open a 4-2 gap.
Novak Djokovic lost to Dusan Lajovic in the Banja Luka quarter-final.
Novak finally broke in the eighth game before losing serve for the second time in the next one and falling 5-4 behind. Lajovic worked hard in the tenth game and saved three break points to claim the opener 6-4 in an hour.
Set number two had no breaks after both players saved five break points. Djokovic came from 40-0 down in the ninth game and stayed on the positive side. World no. 1 forged a 6-3 advantage in the tie break and created three set points.
Lajovic stayed composed and rattled off five straight points to score a career-best win and advance into the last four. Djokovic is far from his best form, losing before the final in three consecutive tournaments and hoping for a better run in Madrid or Rome, especially if his right hand feels better.