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Belgrade Open: Djokovic enters final after qualifier stretches him

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Belgrade, May 28 (IANS) World No. 1 Novak Djokovic was stretched to three sets by Slovakian qualifier Andrej Martin in the semi-finals before the Serbian made it to the Belgrade Open final here on Friday.

The 6-1, 4-6, 6-0 win helped Djokovic secure his maiden entry into the ATP Tour final on home soil since 2011.

Djokovic will face the winner of eighth seed Argentinian Federico Delbonis and qualifier Alex Molcan as he seeks his 83rd Tour-level title, and his third in Belgrade.

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“I’m super excited to play in front of a Serbian crowd. This is my hometown. I’m always excited, but also nervous, coming out on the court and playing in front of my home crowd,” Djokovic told atptour.com

“It’s a very unique feeling. You feel a lot of pressure and expectations. But I’m just happy to fight for a trophy tomorrow.”

Djokovic was in full flight as he breezed through the opening set, but his opponent was by no means rolling over. Martin, who took down third seed Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia and fifth seed Dusan Lajovic of Serbia en route to the semi-finals, did well to hang on with the world No. 1 from the first point.

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–IANS

akm/qma

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