Serbian Novak Djokovic, ranked seventh in the world, qualified on Saturday to the ATP 250 final in Tel Aviv by defeating Russian Roman Sviulin (104) 6-1, 7-6 (7/3) in the semi-finals, in one hour and 35 minutes.
Hence, Djokovic will play the final 127th of his professional career in this indoor event on hard courts. He won 88 of them and will face Croatian Marin Cilic (16th place), who beat French Constant Listien (68) 7-5 6-3 in the other semi-final.
In the semi-finals last Saturday, Djokovic advanced in the first set (6-1), without receiving any “break” ball, and in the second set he sent the set 5-4. Safiullin prolonged the uncertainty a little longer and finally fell into a “tie-breaker”.
“It was a very competitive match, especially in the second set. He was very emotional on the court today, there was a lot of tension because of his aggressive style of play, he serves very well and is very strong when he has the time,” explained the former world number one.
After losing the final in Belgrade in April, Djokovic (35) was the champion of the season in Rome in May and then in July at Wimbledon.
After such success in London, he did not even play the Laver Cup last week, also in the British capital.
He cannot be in the US Open (August 26 – September 11) due to his refusal to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
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