BELGRADE, Serbia – Novak Djokovic booked a place in the Serbia Open final after overcoming another slow start and Karen Khachanov 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.
The top-ranked Serb came back from a set down for the third consecutive match after hard-fought wins over Miomir Kecmanovic and Laslo Djere to reach his third final at his hometown tournament.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion previously won the Serbia Open in 2009 and 2011.
Djokovic, who is bidding for his first title of the year, will face Andrey Rublev in Sunday’s final. The second-seeded Russian player defeated Fabio Fognini 6-2, 6-2 in the other semifinal.
Djokovic opened his clay-court season with a surprising loss to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina at the Monte Carlo Masters last week, his first match since being eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Dubai Championships in February. Dubai was his first tournament of the year after he was barred from playing at the Australian Open because of his unvaccinated status, which also prevented him from playing tournaments in the United States last month.
DALLAS – Marcos Giron advanced to the second round of the Dallas Open with a 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-1 victory over Alex Rybakov on Tuesday.
The seventh-seeded Giron, who reached the semifinals of the inaugural event a year ago, responded quickly after failing to close out the second set, winning the first five games of the deciding set.
Rybakov broke his fellow American when Giron was serving for the match in the second set. Then Rybakov won the first six points of the second-set tiebreaker.
“I’m really happy with how I was able to reset in the third and just get back to the game plan from the beginning and elevate,” Giron said. “He played well and served well and kind of hung in there.”
Eighth-seeded Adrian Mannarino of France won the final five points of a first-set tiebreaker and the last four games of the second to beat American Steve Johnson 7-6 (6), 6-2.
J.J. Wolf, the No. 6 seed, had little trouble in a 6-3, 6-3 victory over fellow American Brandon Holt.
John Isner, the fifth seed and unofficial tournament host in his hometown event, played later Tuesday. Like Giron, Isner lost in the semifinals last year.
DALLAS – Wild-card entry Jack Sock opened with a 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-4 victory over Ilya Ivashka at the Dallas Open, setting up a second-round meeting with top-seeded fellow American Taylor Fritz.
Sock broke Ivashka’s serve in the final game to win the match. Ivashka fell behind 2-0 to start the final set but broke Sock to get back on serve.
Down a break early in the second set, Ivashka rallied to force the deciding set after Sock cruised in the first-set tiebreaker.
The eighth-ranked Fritz is back for the second Dallas Open after losing in the semifinals as the top seed in the inaugural edition of the indoor hard-court event last year. Defending champion Reilly Opelka isn’t in the field.