Novak Djokovic booked his place in the last four of the ATP Finals with a crushing 6-4 6-1 loss to Russia’s Andrey Rublev in the showpiece in Turin on Wednesday.
After the first nine served games, Djokovic turned on the afterburners to outplay Rublev.
Rublev, who like Djokovic had won his opening match at the end of the year, capitulated serving to stay in the opener, losing the set as Djokovic hit a backhand winner.
The second set was a non-event as five-time champion Djokovic claimed victory in just over an hour.
– Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 16, 2022
Later in the Red Group, the Russian Daniil Medvedev will face the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas.
“I played one of my best games of the year,” said Djokovic, who was watched for the first time by his two children, Stefan and Tara, on the pitch. “I found the right attitude and the right game and once I won the first set his energy went down.
“In the second set I just wanted to use that momentum and it was a flawless second set.”
Despite being assured of a place in the weekend’s semi-finals when Djokovic hopes to equal Roger Federer’s title record at the end of the ATP season, the 35-year-old Serbian says he would not relax against Medvedev on Friday.
“It won’t just be a walk in the park,” he said. “Knowing that I’m in the semi-finals is a big boost, but at the same time I want to focus on every game.”
If 21-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic wins the title this week, he will be the oldest player to ever do so.
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