Serbia Open: Djokovic beats Khachanov to set up final with Rublev
Belgrade, April 23 (IANS) World No 1 Novak Djokovic fought back from a set down to register a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 win over Karen Khachanov and reach the final of the Serbia Open, here on Saturday.
Djokovic made a slow start in the semi-final clash as Khachanov came out striking cleanly off both wings. But the top-seeded responded in style to storm back for a one-hour, 59-minute victory and extend his winning record in Serbia to 37-5.
The Serb now holds a 13-2 match record at the Belgrade event and there were real signs on Saturday that he is finding his best form as he seeks to lift the trophy at the ATP 250 event for the third time. The win gives Djokovic the chance to pick up his maiden title in 2022 in front of his home fans on Sunday against Andrey Rublev.
World No 8 Rublev produced another scintillating performance to ease past Fabio Fognini and set a blockbuster final with Djokovic at the ATP 250 event.
Rublev had produced an exhibition of fierce baseline hitting in his quarter-final clash with Taro Daniel on Friday and he fired a similar streak of brutal forehand winners on his way to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Fognini at the Novak Tennis Center.
It will be the second Head to Head meeting between Djokovic and Rublev, after Djokovic ran out a 6-3, 6-2 winner at the 2021 ATP Finals in November.