Novak Djokovic: 'I knew that I had to be on my toes'

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Novak Djokovic: 'I knew that I had to be on my toes'

Novak Djokovic is already in the semifinals of the Nitto ATP Finals 2021. On Wednesday, the FedEx ATP Rankings No. 1 beat Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-2 and was guaranteed to finish as the leader of the Green Group after withdrawal by Stefanos Tsitsipas injured, who will be replaced by Cameron Norrie.

With no previous precedents between the two, without premiering the ATP Head2Head, Djokovic and Rublev met in Turin in a high-voltage match at the Pala Alpitour in Turin. Rublev started the game by breaking the Serbian's serve in the first game of the match.

Thus, the Russian was placed 1-0 quickly, opening the gap on the scoreboard from very early on. How could it be otherwise, Djokovic responded immediately by giving him back the break and stepping on the accelerator to win the first round.

Containing the initial momentum of No. 5 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, Djokovic skyrocketed on the scoreboard growing offensively in his game, and working his way to victory by winning the first set against the brilliant Russian.

In a straight line, Djokovic crowned the second set and the victory against a Rublev who could not find a way to stop the good moment of the Serbian, champion at the Rolex Paris Masters a few days ago and who in the Nitto ATP Finals is looking for his sixth title.

Tsitsipas retires Stefanos Tsitsipas has left the Nitto ATP Finals due to an elbow injury on Wednesday before his second Green Group match at the Pala Alpitour in Turin. The second substitute Cameron Norrie will occupy the place of Tsitsipas and will face the Norwegian Casper Ruud on Wednesday night no earlier than 9.00 p.m.

Djokovic described his performance

Novak Djokovic described his overall performance as "great" after cruising past Andrey Rublev in the 2021 ATP Finals on Wednesday. "I knew that I had to be on my toes, so to say," Djokovic said.

"I had to start well with a good intensity. I dropped serve [in the opening game] again like in the first match - wasn't a great start. I managed to re-break right away. Was quite a nervous start from both of us. Some close games until 4-3, it was anybody's game.

Somehow I managed to find the right shots at the right time, I kind of made him play," Djokovic continued. "The crucial point was the one [at] 4-3, break point - when I managed to put a good passing shot next to him and get on top of him, 5-3.

Winning the first set, I put additional pressure on him. Started to maybe play even more consistent from back of the court. I served very well, that helped tremendously."