Novak Djokovic opened his new partnership with younger brother Djordje in triumphant style as they won their first ever doubles match at the China Open on Tuesday.
The Djokovic brothers chest-bumped and high-fived their way to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (6/8), 10-5 victory over the China-New Zealand pairing of Gong Mao-Xin and Michael Venus.
It was the first time Novak Djokovic, the singles world number one, and Djordje, ranked at 1,502, have collaborated and the younger sibling did his share of the damage with some savage forehands.
Fans were out in force at Beijing’s National Tennis Center to see the unprecedented pairing. Novak Djokovic, eight years the elder at 28, is a five-time singles winner at the China Open.
“The crowd got into it. It was exciting. I’m very happy for my brother, that he was able to experience such an atmosphere,” Novak Djokovic said.
“He never did that before. He never experienced such a great crowd. He never played in a big stadium. We enjoyed it very much — encouraging each other to the first win.”
Novak Djokovic earlier won his 25th successive China Open match with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Italy’s Simone Bolelli.