Novak Djokovic continued his preparation for the French Open with victory in the Belgrade Open on Saturday afternoon.
The win was Djokovic’s 83rd career title, and the Serbian had to overcome his poor initial service game in the first set, but was ultimately able to defeat 23-year-old Alex Molcan 6-4 6-3 in just under an hour and a half.
The Slovakian is ranked 255th in the world, and broke Djokovic’s first service game to snap the world number one into focus.
French Open 2022: Who's playing? Who could miss out? Will Nadal be fit?
- Iga Swiatek - 'I couldn't allow myself to believe I won a Grand Slam' - Players' voice
- What would success be for Federer at the French Open
- 'A different stratosphere' - Rafael Nadal gears up for a historic 14th Roland Garros win
“It’s been a while since I last played here in front of a crowd,” said 34-year-old Djokovic after the match.
“We played here one month ago [at the Serbia Open], without a crowd. To hold a trophy here after 10 years is really special and it couldn’t be better ahead of Roland Garros. I am playing well, feeling good and I have spent quality time with my family.”
Djokovic is due to play American Tennys Sandgren in the first round of Roland Garros and the initial struggle may help him overcome any potential complacency.
With just a 0-2 tour record before the Belgrade Open began, Molcan fell just short of becoming the fifth first-time ATP Tour winner of the season.
'Press conferences are part of the sport' - Djokovic on Osaka stance
More matches, analysis, storytelling: Warner Bros. Discovery Sports enhances Roland-Garros coverage
'He's like a Formula 1 car' - Tsitsipas hails 'close to perfection' Djokovic