There were very few problems in a semi-final that lived up to the forecast from the day before. Novak Djokovic with a good performance beat the Russian Roman Safiullin and got into the final of the ATP 250 in Tel Aviv, Israel.
The one from Belgrade did not waste a match that could have hidden some pitfalls, which occurred a bit in the second set, and now he will be able to prepare for the important match on Sunday. In the first set it was simply a solo for the former world number one, who showed incredible solidity and effectiveness in every exchange that was really difficult to replicate and counter.
Safiullin, almost disoriented, did not get into the match right away and slowly gave up the first two service turns, also making several mistakes. The Serbian is relentless and with great "ease" he takes a 5-0 lead in a short time and with little expenditure of energy.
The Russian made the first game of the match his own, but shortly after he could not avoid the conquest of the set by the Belgrade player (6-1). In the second, Novak struggled more with his opponent's serve, who leveled up and tried to hang on to the scoreboard.
To the sound of the aces, the 25-year-old stayed ahead and tried to make a big break: at 3-2, Safiullin got two break points, which he did not make the most of, also on the merits of the winner of 21 Slam titles, and a great opportunity disappeared.
Djokovic went on the counterattack and in the ninth game he got the long-awaited break to serve for the match. Is the game over? Not at all, because the Russian does not give up quickly and thanks to a last double fault he unexpectedly equalizes at 5-5.
The Podol'sk native then dragged the Serb into a tie-break. At the crucial moment, Nole flexed his muscles and took no chances, winning 7-3 and earning a place in the final act of the tournament.
Nole on his mental strength
Novak Djokovic is known for his extraordinary mental strength, something that has helped establish him as one of the greatest tennis players of all time.
"I think it has a lot to do with the environment I grew up in. As I have told before, I grew up in the 90's in Serbia, with wars, sanctions and difficult times to live. My parents suffered a lot just to be able to eat.
I have been lucky to belong to this sport, which is not cheap. I fell in love with tennis and my parents helped me, even though it was extremely difficult for them," Djokovic was quoted as saying by Punto de Break. "It comes from appreciating life and these kinds of circumstances, knowing what it feels like to have nothing and then have so much in life.
That gives you perspective to respect everything that comes with a more positive and humble attitude. It's not always something that helps me, but it makes it prevail when I use it," he added.