© RCA/China Open

Novak and Djordje Djokovic team up to advance in Beijing.

Family Matters For Djokovic

World No. 1 teams up with sibling for doubles win

Playing with younger brother Djordje Djokovic for the first time in an ATP World Tour event, defending Beijing singles champion Novak Djokovic earned a 7-6(5), 6-7(6), 10-5 first-round doubles win over wild cards Mao-Xing Gong and Michael Venus on Tuesday.

“Of course [it was a] very special occasion,” said Novak. “I want to thank the organisers for giving us a wild card and the opportunity to play.”

The five-time Beijing champion realises that he casts a long shadow on his younger siblings, and is thankful for the positive experience he shared with Djordje on Tuesday.

“Well, you know, my brother (Marko) is 24, and he stopped playing tennis,” said Novak, the oldest of three at 28.  “The youngest one is considering if he wants to continue or not. I'm glad we got a chance to play before he makes any decisions.

“Obviously with the success that I had throughout all my career, it added extra pressure and expectations. It was very difficult for them to handle such expectations. As a matter of fact, if you look at the history of all the successful athletes and their siblings that are younger than them, there are not many that manage to follow that success up and at least achieve something that is close to that,” added Novak, who is 0-5 in doubles alongside Marko but 1-0 with Djordje.

“I try to participate in their careers, but I figure that if I constantly talk about tennis, trying to improve their game, give them advice, that would maybe jeopardise our private relationship and brother relationship, which is truly what I want to have with them. I want to be able to speak freely with them, not only about tennis. Whenever they want to talk, we talk. We have a great relationship, I must say.”

Herbert/Mahut Advance In Tokyo

US Open champions Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut advanced to the quarter-finals in Tokyo on Tuesday after defeating wild cards Austin Krajicek and Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-4, 7-6(4). The No. 2 seeds saved all four break points faced during the 80-minute win. Their next opponents will be Aisam ul-Haq Qureshi and Gilles Simon.

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