5/11/12 2:43 AM | Ricky Dimon
It will be an all-Serb showdown in Madrid when Novak Djokovic and Janko Tipsarevic collide on Friday. A semifinal spot against either Roger Federer or David Ferrer is at stake.
Novak Djokovic and Janko Tipsarevic will be facing each other for the sixth time in their careers when they do battle in the quarterfinals of the Mutua Madrid Open on Friday.
Djokovic leads the head-to-head series 4-1, including 1-0 on clay (a 6-2, 4-6, 6-0 decision three years go in Belgrade). Tipsarevic's lone win over his countryman came last fall at the World Tour Finals, where he prevailed 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 at the expense of a worn-out Djokovic. They most recently clashed three months ago in Dubai, with Djokovic rolling 6-1, 7-6(6).
Tipsarevic has been in solid but unspectacular form. The eight-ranked Serb has already exceeded his Monte-Carlo performance (a third-round loss to Gilles Simon). After three-set wins this week over Federico Delbonis and Simon, Tipsarevic's 2012 record stands at 21-9.
Djokovic, the defending champion, also earned a first-round bye as the No. 1 seed. He survived Daniel Gimeno-Traver in three sets before defeating Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6(5), 6-4 on Thursday. The top-ranked Serb is 26-3 for his 2012 campaign, which includes the Australian Open title.
Djokovic's form is nowhere near dominant at the moment, but not a lot of stock can be put in Tipsarevic's win last fall in London. Djokovic is re-energized now, especially after a loss to Rafael Nadal in Monte Carlo, and he should be able to take care of his opponent in straight sets.
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