Novak Djokovic reached his fourth final of the season at the Tel Aviv Open by beating Roman Safiullin.
The former world number one resumed his campaign at the Laver Cup last week after missing out on the North American swing by refusing to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
The Israeli tournament is low-key but Djokovic has achieved his goal of playing matches and is yet to concede a set by beating Russia’s Safiullin 6-1, 7-6 (3).
The match became much more competitive after Djokovic won the first five games and the Serb couldn’t serve up the win in the second set but put it behind to win it in a tiebreak.
Djokovic will now look to extend his titles at Rome and Wimbledon this season as he contests his 127th tour-level final.
The Serb said on atptour.com: “I think it was a very competitive match, especially in the second set. I have to say that I was quite emotional on the court in the second set today, there was a lot of tension and that was also due to his aggressive tennis style.
“I served for the match and played a few loose points but I thank him for putting up a fight. It was definitely a fun evening on the pitch.”
At the Sofia Open, top seed Jannik Sinner’s attempt to win the title for a third straight season ended when he retired a game after losing his semi-final to young Dane Holger Rune.
The 19-year-old had turned the competition around after losing the opening set as Sinner ended the day 5-7 6-4 5-2 down.
In the final, he meets first-time ATP Tour finalist Marc-Andrea Huesler of Switzerland, who defeated Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti.
In the final of the Korea Open in Seoul, Denis Shapovalov, who is fourth in the table, will play Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka.
The best videos every day
Check out the stories that matter right to your inbox
https://www.newschainonline.com/sport/mens-sport/tennis/novak-djokovic-reaches-tel-aviv-final-with-victory-over-roman-safiullin-295744 Novak Djokovic reaches the Tel Aviv final with a win over Roman Safiullin