Nadia, Owen and I are excited for our first ATP Finals tomorrow. We will be attending the Novak Djokovic, err, excuse me, Serbia Open. I joke that it should be called the Novak Open as he bought the rights to the Dutch Open tourney and moved it to his hometown of Belgrade. Thankfully, he didn’t disappoint his family and the home crowd and made it to the finals. Unfortunately, all the Serb players ended up in the same side of the draw and Djokovic cruised through defeating two Serbs, including the second highest ranked Serb, Victor Trocki (#40 in the world). It was almost like a Davis Cup practice. Tonight he got by the Italian, Andreas Seppi, but lost one set.
He will be taking on a “Lucky Loser” named Lukasz Kubot, from Poland. He is the first Polish player in an ATP final in 27 years. The term lucky loser means that Kubot lost in the qualifying rounds to get into the tourney, but due to an injury, was the alternate and got to enter the main singles draw. Only 5 lucky losers have won ATP events in the last 30 years. Lukasz is a decent doubles player, with one ATP doubles title, and he is currently ranked #22 in doubles, but #179 on the singles tour. After catching a lucky break to get into the tourney, he got another one when #25 ranked Russian Igor Andreev, withdrew in the first set of their second round match. This afternoon he defeated world #24, Ivo Karlovic, the 6 foot 10 inch big server from Croatia. For Kubot, with a career singles record of 15-16, this was the biggest win of his career. The 26 year old will have the biggest match of his career tomorrow.
Does Kubot have a chance tomorrow? His only hope is that Djokovic played late tonight and played three sets, and he might be tired tomorrow afternoon. Will Novak be over confident? Kubot has to be happy already with getting this far and the guaranteed 40,000 Euros. Will his luck continue?
I predict a straight sets victory for Djokovic, and if Kubot wins 6 games in the two sets, he should still consider himself lucky.
With our finals tickets, we also have access to the doubles final. I see that tonight, Kubot won again and he will be playing in the doubles final as well with partner Oliver Marach.