‘It was a great performance overall,’ says Novak Djokovic after dispatching Andrey Rublev at ATP Finals

ATP Tour
Novak Djokovic in action during an ATP Tour match

He made a nervous start, but once he clicked into gear it was one-way traffic for Novak Djokovic against Andrey Rublev at the ATP Finals.

Rublev was quick out of the blocks as he broke in the opening game of the match, but that was as good as it got for the Russian as the world No 1 ran out a 6-3, 6-2 winner in just over an hour.

After dropping serve, Djokovic broke back immediately and then edged ahead in game eight with a second break while two breaks in the second set were enough for the win.

“I knew that I had to be on my toes and start well,” the 20-time Grand Slam winner said. “I dropped my serve again like in the first match [against Casper Ruud].

“It was quite a nervous start from both of us until 4-3, then with new balls I somehow managed to find the right shots at the right time.

“I made him play, crucially on the break point at 4-3, when I managed to strike a good passing shot. Winning the first set I put additional pressure on him, and I started to maybe play more consistently from the back of the court.

“I served well [and] that helped tremendously. I wanted to put him out of his comfort zone, taking away the time and mix up the pace. It was a great performance overall.”

With the win, Djokovic secured his place at the top of the Green Group and in the semi-finals while he also remains in the hunt for a record-equalling sixth year-end trophy.

His final round-robin match will be against Cameron Norrie as the British No 1 became the second alternate after Jannik Sinner to move into the main draw on the back of Stefanos Tsitsipas’ withdrawal. Sinner, who replaced Matteo Berrettini, beat Hubert Hurkacz on Tuesday.

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