Djokovic triumphs in Belgrade

BELGRADE: World number three Novak Djokovic won the inaugural ATP Serbia Open claycourt tournament by beating Polish lucky loser Lukasz Kubot 6-3, 7-6 (7/0) in front of his home crowd here on Sunday.

It was the top-seeded Serbian's second tournament triumph of the year after his victory at the Dubai Open at the end of February and comes just two weeks before the French Open at Roland Garros.

The 2008 Australian Open champion was playing in his fourth consecutive tournament final after runner-up showings at Miami, Monte-Carlo and Rome.

"Of course I felt pressure (throughout the week)," said Djokovic. "I was aware of the fact that most expectations are behind me and having the role of the main favourite to win the event is never easy.

"Under these circumstances I had to play against two Serbians in the first two matches. So there were a lot of things involved but I?m relieved in a way that I could mentally overcome these challenges and go all the way through."

Kubot, meanwhile, was playing in his first ever career final after seeing off giant Croatian second seed Ivo Karlovic in the last four.

The Pole almost matched his opponent's first-serve efficiency but eventually paid the price for a second-serve conversion rate of just 33 per cent and was beaten in just under one hour 50 minutes.