When Novak Djokovic’s opponent took a selfie with the champ while on court | tennis | Hindustan Times
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When Novak Djokovic’s opponent took a selfie with the champ while on court

Novak Djokovic entered the quarterfinals of the Qatar Open on Wednesday and was then shocked by opponent Horacio Zeballos who took a selfie of the pair on court. Djokovic remains on course to meet Andy Murray in the final, who took two hours and 23 minutes to beat Austria’s Gerald Melzer 7-6 (8/6), 7-5.

tennis Updated: Jan 05, 2017 20:50 IST
AFP
Novak Djokovic (left) won his second round match against  Horacio Zeballos 6-3, 6-4 in just 72 minutes in Doha, thanks to a break of the Argentinian’s serve in each set.
Novak Djokovic (left) won his second round match against Horacio Zeballos 6-3, 6-4 in just 72 minutes in Doha, thanks to a break of the Argentinian’s serve in each set.(HoraciaZeballos/Twitter)

Novak Djokovic eased through to the quarter-finals of the Qatar Open on Wednesday and was then shocked by opponent Horacio Zeballos who took a selfie of the pair on court.

The world number two won his second round match 6-3, 6-4 in just 72 minutes in Doha, thanks to a break of the Argentinian’s serve in each set.

He remains on collision course to meet Andy Murray in the final,who also won on Wednesday, taking two hours and 23 minutes to beat Austria’s Gerald Melzer 7-6 (8/6), 7-5 in a feisty encounter.

It was the Scotsman’s 26th consecutive victory.

Djokovic was taken by surprise by Zeballos’ request for a photograph immediately after the match ended.

Read more | Top ranking pushes me to be mentally stronger: Marin Cilic ahead of Chennai Open

“Making a selfie, that’s the first time I have had this experience in my career,” said the Serb. “Horacio -- well done, very original.”

Djokovic is the defending champion in Doha and this year’s number two seed.

Murray’s match proved the most exciting of the evening though, and possibly the whole tournament so far.

Read more | Sir Andy Murray: World No.1’s golden 2016 helps him win knighthood

In a 78-minute first set, Melzer, playing some inspired tennis, saved eight set points before eventually succumbing in a hard-fought tie-break.

The pair traded baseline passing shots, with Melzer the world number 68, matching Murray and looking like he could bring the world number one’s winning streak to an end.

As the match wore on, Murray looked increasingly frustrated by his own game and some of the line calls.

“I was a bit lucky to get through,” said Murray who next faces Spain’s Nicolas Almagro.

“He played great, great tennis, he was winning large parts of the match. Today is a perfect example of the depth of the men’s game.”

Djokovic next plays 38-year-old Radek Stepanek after the Czech knocked out Belgium’s Arthur De Greef, 14 years his junior, 6-3, 6-2.

Stepanek is a former Wimbledon quarter-finalist who turned professional in 1996, just four years after De Greef was born.

His victory means he is the oldest ATP quarter-finalist since a 42-year-old Jimmy Connors played in the 1995 Halle grass court event in Germany.

Stepanek said afterwards that he would continue playing for several years and “will be fighting Jimmy Connors” to make history.

Belgian fourth seed David Goffin, who beat Murray in an exhibition match in Abu Dhabi last week, lost 6-1, 7-6 (8/6) to Spain’s Fernando Verdasco.