Djokovic falls to fellow Serb for 1st time since ’12

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BANJA LUKA, Bosnia and Herzegovina — Novak Djokovic lost to a Serb countryman for the first time in 11 years in the quarterfinals of the Srpska Open on Friday.

Dusan Lajovic won 6-4, 7-6 (6) to down a world No. 1-ranked player for the first time.

“It is the biggest win of my career,” Lajovic said on court. “The emotions are very mixed because I’m playing here in front of the home town and I’m also playing against Nole, who is a good friend and he’s a hero of our country.

“Beating him, it’s something that I didn’t even think is going to be possible, but it happened.”

Djokovic converted only one of 16 break chances, and missed three set points in the tiebreaker.

His previous loss to a fellow Serb was in 2012 to Janko Tipsarevic in Madrid.

“Dusan is a fantastic person, great guy,” Djokovic said. “Someone I’ve known for a very long time, since he started playing professional tennis. So many times on the Davis Cup team together, trained together. I’m happy for him, to be honest. He deserved to win today.”

Following his third loss of the year, Djokovic moves on to the Madrid Open next week.

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