Djokovic Saves 4 Set Points, Beats Coric for Vienna Quarter

Djokovic set to match Sampras record after victory over Coric in Vienna

Novak Djokovic close to guaranteeing world No 1 ahead of Rafael Nadal with Vienna win

The Serbian took another stride towards doing that with a hard-fought win over Borna Coric in the second round, with the Croatian spurning four set points in a tense tiebreak before going down 7-6 (11) 6-3. Otherwise Rafael Nadal could still mathematically overtake him, although the Spaniard would need to enter a tournament in Bulgaria next month in order to do so.

After a day off, Djokovic returns on Friday to face either Hubert Hurkacz or Lorenzo Sonego in the quarterfinals.

Daniil Medvedev, meanwhile, is enjoying the hospitality in Austria as he eased past Jason Jung 6-3 6-1 in his first-round match.

Coric had lost the three previous encounters with Djokovic but earned four set points in the tiebreak, only for the Serb to somehow escape, even hitting the line with a victor when 9-10 down.

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"Borna is a great fighter, a very good friend of mine", said Djokovic.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic in action during his first round match against Serbia's Filip Krajinovic. "He has a similar style". From the backhand corner he's very solid and is trying to create points with his forehand. In the second set, on the score of 4-3 (40-30), forced first on the baseline, and then on the net by his opponent, Nole defended the exchange very well, sending everything back, and closing with a sensational shot around the net, knocking out his rival. "It was very hard for me to return his serve".

Djokovic didn't allow Coric another chance on his serve and closed out the win on his second match point. "I am just really glad to stay focused and play my best at the right time".

In a rematch of their 2017 US Open semifinal, Kevin Anderson again got the better of Pablo Carreno Busta with a 7-5, 6-1 win to also reach the quarters.

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Earlier, Stefanos Tsitsipas opted to switch his shoe in the third set of his match with Jan-Lennard Struff, though the third seed ultimately came through the contest to tee up a tie with Grigor Dimitrov.

Medvedev will next face Vasek Pospisil, who beat Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-5 7-5 in an all-Canadian encounter.

Also, young Italian star Jannik Sinner defeated Caspar Ruud 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 to set up a clash against Andrey Rublev.

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