ATP

Krajinovic eases through at Sofia Open

By Sports Desk September 29, 2021

Fifth seed Filip Krajinovic made a comfortable start to his Sofia Open campaign on Wednesday, defeating Alexandar Lazarov 6-0 6-3.

Krajinovic was the only seeded player in action and he was dominant against home hope Lazarov, who is ranked 462 in the world.

The Serbian swept the first set without conceding a break point and finished the job by claiming the last four games in the second despite Lazarov putting up more of a fight.

Elsewhere, Krajinovic's compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic crashed out to Italian Gianluca Mager, who fired down 11 aces and forced 10 break-point opportunities to earn an impressive 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 win.

Australian James Duckworth, meanwhile, had to launch a comeback before ultimately prevailing 3-6 6-4 6-4 against Finland's Emil Ruusuvuori to book a round two match with Benoit Paire.

The number one seed and defending champion Jannik Sinner will begin his campaign on Thursday with a last-16 contest against Egor Gerasimov.

Second seed Gael Monfils will play Ilya Ivashka, who defeated Pablo Andujar in straight sets, with the winner to face Mager, who is the first man in the quarter-finals.

Alex de Minaur will also be in action against American Marcos Giron.

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    Taylor Fritz believes there would be no "harm" in Novak Djokovic competing at the US Open, although the American admits he is conflicted about whether he should be allowed.

    Wimbledon champion Djokovic has his route to Flushing Meadows blocked by red tape at present, with the United States refusing to allow unvaccinated foreign visitors to enter the country.

    US tennis authorities have pledged to adhere to government rulings surrounding COVID-19 protocols, despite including Djokovic on their entry list.

    For Djokovic to be allowed into the United States, it appears he would require a change of policy from law-makers, or he would have to be considered suitable for an exemption.

    Among those who would be eligible for such an exemption are "persons whose entry would be in the national interest".

    With 21 grand slam titles, Djokovic sits second on the men's all-time list behind Rafael Nadal, who has 22 victories at the majors. 

    And Fritz, ranked 13th in the world, said that while the situation is complicated, there is part of him that thinks Djokovic should be allowed to take part in the competition that starts in under a fortnight.

    "It's tough," he said. "I think on one side of it, I think it's tough to make certain exceptions to the rules for certain people.

    "I don't know how I feel about that, but then, at the same time, we're not the most COVID-safe country in general with how we are doing things.

    "So it does seem like, what's the harm of letting the best player in the world come play the US Open?

    "But like I said, at the same time, it's conflicting, because I don't know how I feel about making special exceptions just for one person because of who they are.

    "So I see both sides of the argument, to be honest. It's tough to differentiate, obviously. It's good for every player if Novak is not in the draw."

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