© Bildagentur Zolles KG/Christian Hofer

Lorenzo Sonego beats Novak Djokovic in straight sets on Friday, saving six break points to advance to the semi-finals in Vienna.

Djokovic: ‘He Just Blew Me Off The Court’

Serbian still in box seat to clinch year-end No. 1

Novak Djokovic suffered just his third loss of the season on Friday at the Erste Bank Open against Italian Lorenzo Sonego, but the World No. 1 was in good spirits after the match.

"He just blew me off the court, that's all," Djokovic said. "He was better in every segment of the game... it was a pretty bad match from my side, but amazing from his side. He definitely deserved this result."

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The Serbian fell to 39-3 in 2020, but he is still an overwhelming favourite to clinch the year-end No. 1 FedEx ATP Ranking, which will be presented at the Nitto ATP Finals, where he is a five-time champion.

“Looking forward to it. It’s the final tournament of the year. Obviously I’ll do my best to prepare well and have a shot at the title,” Djokovic said. “[The] best eight players in this season are going to be there. After Slams it’s probably the strongest event we have on our Tour, maybe the strongest because of the field of players. Every match that you get to play is against a top eight player in the world.

“I’ve had plenty of success in that arena [The O2]. It’s obviously going to be different without the crowd, but hopefully I can have a strong finish.”

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Had Djokovic won his second Vienna trophy (also 2007), he would have tied Pete Sampras’ record by guaranteeing a sixth year-end No. 1 finish in the FedEx ATP Rankings.

“I came here with the intention to try to earn more points and secure the [World] No. 1 at the end of the year,” Djokovic said. “I’m happy, I’m pleased [that] I’m healthy and hopefully I can have a strong finish in London.”

More than anything else, Djokovic was complimentary of Sonego’s performance in Austria, where the lucky loser earned his first Top 10 win by upsetting the Serbian.

“I move on completely fine with today’s result and [I am] looking to the next chapter.”

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