Competing in the hometown of Belgrade for the second time this spring, world no. 1 Novak Djokovic claimed the first title at home since 2011 to gather a boost ahead of Roland Garros. Novak beat four lower-ranked players en route to his 83rd ATP title, beating a qualifier Alex Molcan 6-4, 6-3 in the title clash in an hour and 28 minutes to lift the first trophy since the Australian Open. World no. 255 Molcan came to Belgrade without an ATP win on his tally, delivering his best tennis in the Serbian capital to reach the title clash and playing on a high level against the world’s best player. Struggling a bit on the second serve, Novak got broken four times from five opportunities offered to the Slovak, securing 55% of the return points and earning six breaks that carried him over the top. A left-hander made a perfect start and fired a forehand down the line winner for a break at 15 in the first game and an early lead.
Novak Djokovic claimed the third Serbia Open crown, the first in ten years.
Molcan couldn’t stay in front for too long, spraying a backhand error in game two to bring Novak back to the positive side. Alex secured another break at 2-2 with a powerful return before Novak pulled it back a few minutes later with a forehand winner. Molcan netted a backhand in game eight to fall 5-3 behind, but it wasn’t to be for Djokovic in the next one, getting broken for the third time to keep the opponent alive. Molcan wasted a game point that could have sent him to 5-5, and Djokovic closed the set with his fourth break with a smash winner for 6-4.
Returners had no chances in the second set’s opening five games, and Novak moved 4-2 in front when Alex sprayed a backhand mistake. Molcan cracked a backhand down the line winner in the seventh game to pull the break back and stay in contention. Djokovic moved in front again with a break in game eight following Molcan’s terrible volley and served for the win in the next one. Producing a commanding service game, Djokovic held at 15 in game nine to celebrate the 83rd ATP title and the third at home after 2009 and 2011.