Novak Djokovic will seek his third Belgrade title Saturday against little-known qualifier Alex Molcan.
Djokovic, who lost in the semifinals last month to Aslan Karatsev at this very event, this time made the finals winning a 3-setter over qualifier Andrej Martin 6-1, 4-6, 6-0. It was the second straight match Djokovic finished off his opponent with a 6-0 set.
“I’m super excited to play in front of a Serbian crowd. This is my home town. I’m always excited, but also nervous, coming out on the court and playing in front of my home crowd,” Djokovic told the crowd. “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 sharp early but late in the first the Slovakian got into gear. In the second, it was a different story as Martin broke the Serb three times prompting a racquet smash.
But Djokovic regained control in the third.
“I thought I started and finished the match really well, so I’ll try to take those positive feelings into tomorrow’s final,” Djokovic said. “I also had some letdowns in concentration towards the end of the second set, and I’ll try to correct those mistakes for tomorrow.”
Tomorrow, Djokovic will seek his third home Belgrade title against Molcan. The 255th-ranked Molcan upended Federico Delbonis 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to reach his biggest career. Molcan, 23, entered the event via qualifying, and had never won an ATP-level match before.
“I’m really happy about today’s win,” said Molcan. “This is the biggest win of my career, of course. I will play my first final at ATP level against Djokovic, and I couldn’t be happier. I will try to enjoy tomorrow’s match [as much] as I can. I will try to have fun, and we’ll see what will happen.”
In his 119th career final, Djokovic will also bid for an 83rd career title. Djokovic will finish his clay prep without having faced anyone in the Top 95 this week after wins this week over Mats Moraing, Federico Coria and today Martin. On either Monday or Tuesday, he’ll take on Tennys Sandgren in the first round at the French Open.
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“Djokovic Reaches Belgrade Finals, Faces Qualifier Molcan”
May 29th, 2021 at 12:15 am