Kubot and Djokovic reach Belgrade final

Updated: 10 May 2009 12:08 IST

Lukasz Kubot downed second-seeded Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (0), 6-2 at the Serbia Open on Saturday to become the first Pole to reach an ATP Tour final in 26 years.

Kubot and Djokovic reach Belgrade final

Belgrade, Serbia:

Lukasz Kubot downed second-seeded Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (0), 6-2 at the Serbia Open on Saturday to become the first Pole to reach an ATP Tour final in 26 years.

There, he will face tournament host Novak Djokovic, who defeated fourth-seeded Andreas Seppi of Italy 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 to reach his fourth final in his last four tournaments.

In beating Karlovic and celebrating making his first tour final, Kubot dropped to his knees and crossed himself.

"I'm very happy and will try to do my best in the finals," said Kubot, who was in the draw as a lucky loser from qualifying after Steve Darcis of Belgium withdrew with a shoulder injury.

Since then, 179th-ranked Kubot hasn't dropped a set, and overcame 14 aces from Karlovic to become the first Pole in a final since Wojtek Fibak in 1983 at Basel. Fibak was also the last Pole to win an ATP singles title, in 1982 at Chicago.

Kubot could also become only the second lucky loser to win a title in 18 years.

Despite Karlovic winning 80 percent of his first serves, Kubot won all three points on Karlovic's serve in the first-set tiebreaker, and broke him twice in the second set.

Djokovic, whose family bought the license for the tournament from a Netherlands ATP event, started off nervously under the weight of expectations as the top seed, making 29 unforced errors to 15 by Seppi.

"I was nervous for the first time playing a tournament in front of the home crowd which expected to see me in the finals," Djokovic said.

After tying the set score, Djokovic broke Seppi in the first game of the third set, and again in the fifth, before converting his first match point after Seppi sent a backhand wide.

Third-ranked Djokovic will appear in his fourth straight final after runner-up efforts in Miami, Monte Carlo and Rome.

He won his first final of the year at Dubai in February for his 12th career title.



Topics : Tennis Andy Roddick Lukas Dlouhy Rohan Bopanna Leander Paes Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi Maria Sharapova
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