World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is making the most out of his debut at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships. The superstar, who will be the top seed in the singles event, is also competing in the doubles draw alongside fellow Serbian Filip Krajinovic.
This is the fourth time Djokovic has teamed with Krajinovic on the ATP Tour, with their last appearance together coming at 2015 Doha, where the pair reached the semi-finals. The 32-year-old has captured one tour-level doubles trophy, nine years ago at Queen’s Club with Jonathan Erlich.
In the first round the Serbians will face fourth seeds Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares. The Croat and Brazilian paired up for the first time in London at the Fever-Tree Championships, and their best result thus far came in Cincinnati, where they made the semi-finals.
The top seeds in Tokyo are Spaniard Marcel Granollers and Argentine Horacio Zeballos. They recently made the US Open final in just their second tournament as a team. Granollers and Zeballos’ tandem debut came in Montreal, where they won the title. Granollers and Zeballos will play this year’s Monte-Carlo champions, Nikola Mektic and Franko Skugor, in the first round.
Did You Know?
Ben McLachlan has triumphed in Tokyo in each of the past two years. In 2017, he won with compatriot Yasutaka Uchiyama, and in 2018 he emerged victorious alongside Jan-Lennard Struff. This year, the Japanese star is playing with his full-time partner, Brit Luke Bambridge.