After successful performances in the opening round of the Qatar Exxon Mobil event, top seed Novak Djokovic and Sergiy Stakhovsky will cross paths for a fourth time on the professional tour. The Serbian star leads the head-to-head series 3-0 and will look to maintain that undefeated streak on Wednesday afternoon in Doha.
In his debut match in Doha, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic defeated fellow countryman Dusan Lajovic in straight sets 6-2, 6-1 to reach the second round of the event. Known for usually not starting his season until the Australian Open, Djokovic looked sharp in his opening match, as he won 69% of his first service points and secured five breaks of serve to close out the contest in exactly 59 minutes.
With that win, Djokovic maintains a streak that extends from the semi-final round of the Shanghai Rolex Masters. He will look to keep that streak alive when he faces Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky, who also cruised through his match on Tuesday. The world No. 57 defeated local wildcard Mohammed Ali Mutawa 6-1, 6-1 to set up the contest with the Belgrade native. The match lasted a total of 46 minutes and saw the Ukranian win 80% of his first service points and save the two break points he faced on serve.
This marks fourth time that Djokovic and Stakhovsky will cross paths on the professional tour. Djokovic remains undefeated in the series, with wins dating as far back as the 2009 French Open. Their last meeting took place three years ago in Dubai but that is unlikely to affect the expected outcome.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic in Straight Sets