Djokovic claims inaugural Serbia Open win
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:32
Talk about the host with the most…Novak Djokovic clinched his second tour title of the year after a 6-3 7-6(0) win over qualifier Lukasz Kubot in the final of the Serbia Open.
The world No.3, whose family bought the rights to the Amersfoort tournament to bring ATP tennis to Serbia for the first time, held his nerve as Pole Kubot served for the second set, returning two difficult drop shots to force the tie-break.
“Although this is not one of the biggest tournament I had won, it means the most to me” – Djokovic
Djokovic sealed the victory when he won the tie-break without dropping a point, ending a run of three successive losing final appearances after finishing as runner-up in Miami, Monte Carlo and Rome.
“Although this is not one of the biggest tournament I had won, it means the most to me,” Djokovic told 7,000 spectators in a makeshift tennis stadium in the Serbian capital of Belgrade.
But the tournament win will not prevent Djokovic from losing his world No.3 ranking to Andy Murray when the ATP Tour standings are published on Monday.
Elsewhere, Albert Montanes saw off a spirited James Blake 5-7 7-6 6-0 to win the Estoril Open, after two matches in one day proved too much for the American.
Blake, bidding to become the first US player to win an ATP title on European clay since Andy Roddick in 2003, was forced to complete his semi-final against Nikolay Davydenko on Sunday morning after bad light stopped play the day before.
It looked to be working to the No.4 seed’s advantage as he matched the Spaniard game for game before scoring a single break in game 12.
Montanes, the No.7 seed, battled back in the second set, breaking Blake in the game 7. But the American immediately broke back and then wasted two match points in game 10 before Montanes claimed the set in a tie-break.
With tiredness setting in, Blake lost all three of his service games in the decider.
Meanwhile, No.4 seed Tomas Berdych collected his first title of 2009 when he beat Mikhail Youzhny 6-4 4-6 7-6(5) in the BMW Open final in Munich – but only just.
Youzhny, the world No.64, had Berdych on the ropes at 5-1 up in the final set tie-break to put himself on the verge of a match point just a few minutes after defending three himself in game 12. But Berdych kept his composure and produced some faultless tennis under pressure to seal the title.