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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday October 1, 2022

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic took out Russia's Roman Safiullin to reach the final in Tel Aviv.

Novak Djokovic has had a notably difficult 2022 campaign, as his decision to remain unvaccinated has forced him out of two of the four Grand Slams, as well as many marquee tournaments in the United States and North America, such as Indian Wells, Miami, Montreal and Cincinnati.

Tennis Express

This week in Tel Aviv the Serb is finally back on court and building momentum.

The 35-year-old powered into his 127th career final on Saturday, defeating Russia’s Roman Safiullin 6-1, 7-6(3).

As one of just eight ATP players with over 100 finals to his name, Djokovic is fifth on the all-time list.

ATP Finals, all-time:

Connors, 164
Federer, 157
Lendl, 146
Nadal, 130
Djokovic, 127
McEnroe, 109
Nastase, 104
Vilas, 104

He will bid for his 89th title on Sunday, against either Marin Cilic or Constant Lestienne. Djokovic currently ranks fifth in ATP titles.

ATP Titles, all-time

Connors, 109
Federer, 103
Lendl, 94
Nadal, 92
Djokovic, 88

Saturday’s contest against the 25-year-old World No. 104 was tighter than many expected.

Djokovic cruised through the opener but encountered turbulence in set two. He took a break lead but couldn’t serve the match out in the tenth game, broken at 30.

But the Serb steeled himself in the breaker and slalomed to victory.

“I think it was a very competitive match, especially in the second set,” said Djokovic on court after the win. “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. Big serves, and when he has time, he’s so solid from the forehand and backhand corner.”

Djokovic improves to 27-6 on the season – he will bid for his third title of 2022 and his first on a hard court this season.


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