Four finals in a row for Belgrade host Novak
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:32
Tournament host Novak Djokovic defeated No.4 seed Andreas Seppi 4-6 6-1 6-2 to reach the final of the Serbia Open, hoping to go one better after being runner up in his last three tournaments – Miami, Monte Carlo and Rome.
He will face Lukasz Kubot on Sunday after the lucky loser stunned No.2 seed Ivo Karlovic 7-6(0) 6-2 to become the first Polish player to reach an ATP Tour final since 1983.
I was nervous for the first time playing a tournament in front of the home crowd” – Djokovic
Im very happy and will try to do my best in the finals, said Kubot, who only reached the main draw after Steve Darcis withdrew with a shoulder injury. Since then, the world No.179 hasnt dropped a set, and survived 14 aces from Karlovic during the match.
Djokovic, whose family bought the license for the tournament from the Amersfoort ATP event, made an error-strewn start to his semi-final, producing 29 unforced errors to Seppi’s 15.
I was nervous for the first time playing a tournament in front of the home crowd which expected to see me in the finals, Djokovic admitted afterwards.
But the world No.3 regained his composure, and after drawing level, Djokovic broke Seppi in the first game of the third set and again in the fifth to put himself well and truly in the driver’s seat, converting his first match point after Seppi sent a backhand wide.
The third-ranked Djokovic will appear in his fourth straight final after being runner-up in Miami, Monte Carlo and Rome.
He won his first final of the year at Dubai in February for his 12th career title.
Pub quiz fans: Wojtek Fibak was the last Pole to reach a final, at Basel in 1983. He was also the last Pole to win an ATP singles title, in 1982 at Chicago.