10sBalls.com • TennisBalls.com

Djokovic Dominant Against Rublev, Wraps up the win in Group A at Nitto ATP Finals In Turin/Torino

Novak Djokovic swept Andrey Rublev to reach the ATP Finals semifinals. EPA-EFE/Alessandro Di Marco

By Ricky Dimon

It’s looking more and more like it will be No. 1 vs. No. 2 in the championship match at the Nitto ATP Finals.

What we already know is that No. 1 and No. 2 will avoid each other in the semis.

After Daniil Medvedev clinched Group B on Tuesday, Novak Djokovic secured his spot atop Group A with a 6-3, 6-2 rout of Andrey Rublev on Wednesday afternoon. Djokovic dropped serve in the opening game of the match but dominated the rest of the way to prevail in one hour and eight minutes.

The top-ranked Serb struck 14 aces without double-faulting a single time and finished with 19 winners compared to just eight unforced errors. He lost a mere six points in his last six service games.

Andrey Rublev of Russia reacts during his group stage match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia at the Nitto ATP Finals tennis tournament in Turin, Italy, 17 November 2021. EPA-EFE/Alessandro Di Marco

“I knew that I had to be on my toes and start well,” Djokovic commented. “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.

“(By) 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; 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.”

Djokovic will face alternate Cameron Norrie in his last round-robin match on Friday, although it cannot affect his semifinal standing. Djokovic will await the Group B runner-up–either Alexander Zverev, Jannik Sinner, or Hubert Hurkacz.

Medvedev’s semifinal will come against either Rublev, Ruud, or Norrie.Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.