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Djokovic, Kubot reach Serbia Open final

WORLD number three Novak Djokovic recovered from an error-strewn opening set to beat Italian Andreas Seppi 4-6 6-1 6-2 and reach the final of the inaugural Serbia Open yesterday.

The Serbian top seed made 29 unforced errors in the first set, appearing to be unnerved by his father's vociferous support from the family's courtside box before asking him to leave.

Djokovic, whose family organised and co-sponsored the event, rallied back with a series of devastating baseline shots in front of a capacity 7,900 crowd.

The 21-year-old Serb will meet Poland's Lukasz Kubot in today's final after the tournament's lucky loser continued his remarkable run with a 7-6 6-2 win over Croatian Ivo Karlovic.

It was Djokovic's fifth win in as many meetings with fourth seed Seppi and he will start as strong favourite against world number 179 Kubot.

"I found it difficult to get going in the first set, I am under a lot of pressure here as the top seed and the home crowd favourite because everyone expects me to win the tournament," Djokovic said in a courstide interview.

"Seppi was an awkward opponent and his passing shots caused problems in the first set, but I was able to get back into the match thanks to the support of this wonderful crowd."

Kubot, who must have thought the tournament was over for him when he lost his final qualifier to Slovakia's Dominik Hrbaty, became the first Pole to reach an ATP final since 1982.

He was let back into the main draw when Belgium's Steve Darcis pulled out with a shoulder injury and then brushed aside his rivals en route to the final without dropping a set.

He beat Serbian wildcard Arsenije Zlatanovic, Russia's Igor Andreev -- who retired in the first set with a rib injury -- and Belgium's Kristof Vliegen before he overpowered Karlovic.

"I had a lot of luck this week, I am very happy with what I have achieved and I don't think anyone would have thought that I would make it to the finals," he said.


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