10sBalls.com • TennisBalls.com

Rublev upsets Medvedev, Djokovic defeats Tsitsipas on Day 2 in Turin

Andrey Rublev may be the underdog in an absolutely loaded Red Group at the Nitto ATP Finals, but he didn’t play like it on Monday.

Rublev kicked off his year-end championship campaign by upsetting Daniil Medvedev 6-7(7), 6-3, 7-6(7) after two hours and 31 minutes. The world No. 7 squandered seven set points in the opener but recovered impressively from that massive disappointment and continued to be the better player for the remainder of the match. Medvedev did well just to stay competitive and even saved four match points in the final tiebreaker, but Rublev converted his fifth chance at 8-7.

“I was thinking about the U.S. Open,” Rublev reflected, “because when we played in the quarterfinals in 2020 I was leading (by) something similar in a tiebreak. But when I lost that set (at the U.S. Open), I couldn’t play anymore. And I was thinking it cannot happen the same (again). I have to change something; I have to keep playing, because if I win one set even if I lose in three sets it’s still good, because here you have a group. So you have to fight for every point, every game, and I was able to win.

“The final tiebreak, the rallies that we had there were crazy. The last rally, we had I don’t know, 30 shots. I was cramping a bit already, but I was thinking, ‘One more, one more. You have to keep playing.’ For sure he felt the same, so just keep playing. If you have the chance, just go for it.”

Next up for Rublev on Wednesday is five-time champion Novak Djokovic, who also started 1-0 in the Red Group by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 7-6(4). Djokovic saved the only break point he faced and capitalized on one of his two opportunities while prevailing in one hour and 38 minutes.

From a quality standpoint it was the best match of the first two days in Turin and cements the 35-year-old Serb’s status as title favorite–especially with Tsitsipas, Medvedev, and Rafael Nadal all 0-1.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.