Novak Djokovic reaches Tel Aviv final with victory over Roman Safiullin

Novak Djokovic reached his fourth final of the season at the Tel Aviv Open with victory over Roman Safiullin.

The former world number one resumed his campaign at the Laver Cup last week after missing the North American swing because of his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

The Israeli tournament is low key but Djokovic has achieved his aim of playing matches and is yet to drop a set, seeing off Russian Safiullin 6-1 7-6 (3).

The match became a lot more competitive after Djokovic won the opening five games, and the Serbian was unable to serve out victory in the second set but put that behind him to take it on a tie-break.

Djokovic will now look to add to his titles this season in Rome and at Wimbledon when he contests his 127th tour-level final.

The Serbian said on atptour.com: “I think it was a very competitive match, especially in the second set. I must say I was quite emotional on the court today in the second set, there was a lot of tension, and that was also due to his aggressive style of tennis.

“I was serving for the match and played a couple of loose points, but credit to him for fighting back. It was an enjoyable evening on the court for sure.”

Holger Rune defeated top seed Jannik Sinner in Sofia
Holger Rune defeated top seed Jannik Sinner in Sofia (Pavel Danev/AP)

At the Sofia Open, top seed Jannik Sinner’s bid to win the title for a third year in a row ended when he retired one game from defeat in his semi-final against young Dane Holger Rune.

The 19-year-old had turned the contest around after losing the opening set when Sinner called it a day trailing 5-7 6-4 5-2.

In the final he will take on first-time ATP Tour finalist Marc-Andrea Huesler from Switzerland, who defeated Italian Lorenzo Musetti.

The final of the Korea Open in Seoul will pit fourth seed Denis Shapovalov against Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka.