Djokovic battles to make Belgrade final

·2-min read

Novak Djokovic has negotiated an unexpected second-set fightback from Andrej Martin to seal his place in the final of his home Belgrade Open.

The world No.1 looked well placed to cruise to victory after taking just 38 minutes to win the first set 6-1, but qualifier Martin hit back in the second to force a decider.

Djokovic swiftly regained composure, though, with a bagel settling the contest 6-1 4-6 6-0 in his favour, and he will now have the backing of his home crowd as he looks to clinch his third Belgrade Open title and warm up for the French Open in style.

"I'm super excited to play in front of a Serbian crowd. This is my home town," said Djokovic, who previously won at the event in 2009 and 2011.

"I'm always excited, but also nervous, coming out on the court and playing in front of my home 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.

"I thought I started and finished the match really well, so I'll try to take those positive feelings into tomorrow's final.

"I also had some let-downs in concentration towards the end of the second set, and I'll try to correct those mistakes for tomorrow."

Standing in the way of a second title of the season for 34-year-old Djokovic is another qualifier, Slovakian Alex Molcan, who came from behind to beat Federico Delbonis 4-6 6-4 6-4.

Meanwhile in Parma, Sebastian Korda beat sixth-seeded Tommy Paul in an all-American semifinal at the Emilia-Romagna Open to reach his second ATP final.

The 20-year-old Korda won 6-3 6-3 in 82 minutes to book a spot against Italian wildcard Marco Cecchinato, who recovered from a second-set setback to prevail over Jaume Munar of Spain 7-6 (7-2) 1-6 6-1 after more than two-and-a-half hours.