Novak Djokovic to play first final since July in Tel Aviv


Novak Djokovic hits a backhand
As well as Wimbledon, Novak Djokovic won in Rome earlier in 2022
Novak Djokovic will play in his first final since winning Wimbledon in July after beating Russian Roman Safiullin in the Tel Aviv Open semi-finals.

The top seed beat world number 104 Safiullin 6-1 7-6 (7-3).

After being unable to enter the United States because of his coronavirus vaccination status, Djokovic has played just one other event since Wimbledon.

The 35-year-old will face Croatian second seed Marin Cilic or France’s Constant Lestienne in the final.

Djokovic won his 21st Grand Slam title at Wimbledon but no ranking points were awarded at that tournament or September’s Laver Cup, meaning the Serb has dropped to seventh in the world.

In Parma, world number 74 Mayar Sherif, 26, became the first Egyptian woman to win a WTA Tour title as she beat top seed Maria Sakkari 7-5 6-3 in the final.

Both players also had to play their semi-finals on Saturday after Friday’s play was cancelled because of rain.

In Bulgaria, top seed Jannik Sinner retired injured in the third set of his semi-final against fifth seed Holger Rune, who was leading 5-7 6-4 5-2 when the match stopped.

Rune will face world number 95 Marc-Andrea Huesler in the final of the Sofia Open after the Swiss claimed a 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 win against Italian fourth seed Lorenzo Musetti.

In Seoul, Canadian fourth seed Denis Shapovalov will compete for the second ATP title of his career as he beat American Jenson Brooksby 7-5 6-4 to set up a final against world number 56 Yoshihito Nishioka, who won his semi-final against Aleksandar Kovacevic 6-3 4-6 6-3.

Estonian top seed Anett Kontaveit beat compatriot Kaia Kanepi 6-4 6-4 in her hometown of Tallinn.

The 26-year-old will face seventh seed Barbora Krejcikova in the final after the Czech won 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 against Belinda Bencic.


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