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Andrey Rublev Beats “Out Of Gas” Novak Djokovic To Win Serbia Open


Novak Djokovic was denied his first title of the yr on Sunday, the world primary admitting he “ran out of gas” in a 3 units defeat to Russia’s Andrey Rublev within the closing of the Serbia Open. Second seed Rublev received 6-2, 6-7 (4/7), 6-0 in opposition to the highest seed who had been seeking to regain profitable kind earlier than his French Open title defence subsequent month. The Belgrade occasion in his hometown was solely Djokovic’s third of 2022 after he was deported from Melbourne – and denied the prospect to defend his Australian Open title – after getting into the nation unvaccinated.

However, regardless of the 20-time Grand Slam winner being let down by his lack of bodily kind, he stays upbeat for his bid to seize a 3rd French Open crown.

“Things are progressing slowly but surely, Paris is the big goal and hopefully by Paris I’ll be ready,” mentioned the two-time Serbia Open winner.

The 34-year-old, who misplaced within the quarter-finals in Dubai and suffered a shock second-round defeat in Monte Carlo, battled previous Laslo Djere, Miomir Kecmanovic and Karen Khachanov in three units earlier than the court docket time caught up with the highest seed in opposition to Rublev.

“I have to look at the positives, playing the final in front of my home crowd, it was unfortunate that in the third set I ran out of gas and couldn’t deliver more of a fight,” mentioned Djokovic.

“After four three-set battles I can say that I am tired but also pleased that I managed to win the matches prior to this one.

“I believe that may serve me for the continuation of the clay court docket season.”

Djokovic got off to a bad start, dropping serve twice, to lose the first set after half an hour.

Bouyed by the support of the 8,000 crowd, Djokovic fought back in a marathon second set which lasted just over an hour, levelling in the tie-break despite wasting six set points, before running out of steam in the third.

Rublev captured his third title of the season, days after blasting Wimbledon’s ban on Russian and Belarusian players as “full discrimination”.

Wimbledon banned all Russian and Belarusian players from this summer’s Grand Slam tournament due to the invasion of Ukraine.

It was a decision condemned by the ATP and WTA as well as a host of players including Djokovic who described the sanction as “loopy”.

Rublev has now equalled Spaniard Rafael Nadal for the most tour-level titles in 2022, having also clinched crowns in Marseille and Dubai in February.

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“He was for certain not in his excessive stage, possibly center stage,” said Rublev of Djokovic.

“In the third set I used to be actually fortunate that he could not break me and that he was actually drained.”

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