Both Rublev and Djokovic have had to fight past some tough competition but they had also been dealt a fair share of comfortable wins.
The 2022 edition of the Serbia Open has been memorable so far and it will end in the best way possible. The two top-seeded players, Novak Djokovic (1) and Andrey Rublev (2) have made it to the final and both will be looking to make a mark on Sunday. With the Roland Garros just a few days away, players will be keen on getting their game to its absolute best and there is no better stage that brings out the best in players than the final of a tournament. Both Rublev and Djokovic have had to fight past some tough competition but they had also been dealt a fair share of comfortable wins. This will only be the pair’s second meeting in ATP competition. The Serb won their previous tie which happened in November 2021 at the ATP World Tour Finals. Payback will be on the second seed’s mind but beating the top-ranked player in the world in their own backyard will be a steep hill.
Here is a look at how Djokovic and Rublev reached the final of the 2022 Serbia Open.
The Russian was presented with a stern test in the very first match of the competition. He faced Serbian player Jiri Lehecka and was pushed quite far, especially in the second set. Rublev had lost the first set, somewhat unexpectedly, and the second one went to a tie-break. Thankfully, the Russian managed to level the match after the second set and went on to comfortably win the third against an exhausted Lehecka. The scoreline at the end of the tie was 4-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-2.
The next couple of matches did not present as much of a challenge for the Russian. He breezed past Taro Daniel in the quarter-final 6-3, 6-3 before making short work of Fabio Fognini in the semis. His win against the latter was especially impressive as Fognini is one of the most experienced tennis players in the world. Rublev won that tie 6-2 6-2 to set up the final against Djoker Nole.
After a disappointing exit in the round of 32 at the Monte Carlo Masters, Novak Djokovic knew that he had a point to prove at the Serbia Open. Playing on home soil, the world no. 1 had the full support of those in attendance every time he stepped onto the clay court. The reigning Rolan Garros champion will be looking to defend his crown as well and for that, he needs to be at the top of his game on clay.
His very first match saw him go the full distance. Compatriot Laslo Djere was his first test and the match saw not one, but two tie-breaks. Djoker Nole had to come from a set down to win a nail-biting match 2-6, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-4).
The world no. 1 then moved on to Miomir Kecmanovic who was also not an easy opponent, although not as difficult as Djere. Djokovic won that match, again from a set down, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. Throughout the tournament, the top seed has started his matches slow, only yo pick up the pace in the second set and clinch victory in the third.
The same thing happened in the semis with Karen Khachanov. Khachanov won the first set, quite comfortably in fact, but Djokovic came back with a vengeance and inflicted a crushing defeat. The score at the end of that match was 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.
Of course, this will not be easy to do against someone as good as Rublev but the match certainly does guarantee a very quality of tennis.
|Novak Djokovic||Andrey Rublev|
|Beat Laslo Djere 2-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-4)||Beat Jiri Lehecka 4-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-2|
|Beat Miomir Kecmanovic 4-6, 6-3, 6-3||Beat Taro Daniel 6-3, 6-3|
|Beat Karen Khachanov 4-6, 6-1, 6-2||Beat Fabio Fognini 6-2 6-2|