The world number 1 missed the first set and fell behind with a break in the second before crippling Miomir Kecmanovic 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 to advance to the Serbia Open semifinals. With the win, the first seed bagged ten straight wins over his compatriot and a total of 27-4 against his compatriot.
“The scenario of the match was similar to the previous match, but I managed to win and qualify for the semifinals. Thanks to my team, I feel better than before," Djokovic said. "It's a very strange feeling, sharing the pitch with your compatriots. Of course the crowd was phenomenal for both players in the previous and current matches. It's a very rare opportunity when I get to play in my own home and experience an atmosphere like this. So I try to enjoy every moment of it.”
After being overwhelmed early enough to overcome Kecmanovic's aggressive play, the first seed played some of his best game from mid to late. The world number 1 was pleased with the way he physically defended in the opening match which lasted almost 3 hours 30 minutes against Laslo Djere.
With less than 24 hours of rest, he was back in a tough game, but continued to improve as the match progressed. The win in the quarter-finals was a repeat of when the top seed and Kecmanovic met in the same round and tournament last season.
Now, the first seed is getting ahead in their head to head with 2-0. Waiting for Djokovic in the semifinals of the Serbia Open is the third seed, Karen Khachanov, who beat Brazilian Thiago Monteiro 7-5, 6-4. In other action, sixth seed Fabio Fognini had a much smoother match as he eliminated Slovenian Aljaz Bedene 6-2, 6-3 and booked a Serbia Open quarter-final against Germany's Oscar Otte, which sealed a tight win 6 -7, 6-1, 6-3 over fourth seed Aslan Karatsev.