Novak Djokovic assured himself a place in the ATP Finals with his 6-3, 6-4 win over Marin Cilic to win a temporary 250 series event in Tel Aviv on Sunday .
The Serb whose playing opportunities are limited due to his unvaxxed COVID status is banned from competing in Australia and North America. he last competed on the Tour at Wimbledon two months ago.
But by defeating Cilic, Djokovic will remain in the ranking Top 20; that – along with his Wimbledon title – assures him a spot in the eight-man November field in Turin.
The Tel Aviv week was drafted in to fill a gap in the calendar with major Chinese events cancelled due to strict COVID rules in the People’s Republic.
It was the first professional tennis tournament staged in Israel in 26 years.
Serb Djokovic extended his dominance over Cilic of Croatia in the Battle of the Balkans, running his record to 19-2. he last lost to Cilic in 2018.
Cilic pounded 13 aces but found only one unsuccessful break point; Djokovic broke on one of his four chances.
Djokovic is now due to chase points and matches as he takes a private jet flight to next week’s event in Kazakhstan.
Cilic, who turned 34 on Wednesday, gave a shout-out to the crowd in the tiny 2,500-seat arena.
“It was a fantastic week for me celebrating my birthday.
“I didn’t have a chance to celebrate with so many,but next time I’m buying drinks everybody.”
Main photo:- Novak Djokovic celebrates as he wins in Tel Aviv – by Getty/ATPTour.com