World No. 1 Novak Djokovic said Italy's Lorenzo Sonego blew him off the court and he absolutely deserved to win the match and make the Vienna semifinal. Sonego, ranked at No. 42 in the world, claimed probably the most surprising win of the season as he saw off No.
1 seed Djokovic 6-2 6-1 in the Vienna quarterfinal. Sonego, who was beaten in the Vienna qualifying final round, entered the tournament as a wildcard and a few days later ended up demolishing the world's best player. "He just blew me off the court, that's all," Djokovic said after the match, per the ATP website.
"He was better in every segment of the game... it was a pretty bad match from my side, but amazing from his side. He definitely deserved this result." Djokovic entered Vienna hoping to gain a few more points and he admitted that securing the year-end No.
1 position affected his performance against Sonego. Djokovic, a 17-time Grand Slam champion, was nowhere near his usual level and at times he even looked disinterested. "Yes, clinching the No. 1 had an effect on me today.
I’ve done what I came here for, securing the number 1. And I move completely fine with today’s result. I'm healthy and looking forward to a strong finish in London," Djokovic admitted, per Carole Bouchard.
Sonego says the win over Djokovic means a lot
"I don‘t know if Djokovic played his best match. But for me, it was important for the future to gain experience." Elsewhere, rising Finnish star Emil Ruusuvuori has made his maiden ATP semifinal in Nur-Sultan.
Ruusuvuori, ranked at No. 98 in the world, cruised past home favorite Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3 6-1 in the Nur-Sultan quarterfinal. "Overall, it was one of my best matches in the tournament,” said Ruusuvuori. “I served, returned and moved well, and put Mikhail under a lot of pressure over the two sets.
He plays very well on flat shots and likes pace, so I tried to mix it up a bit and made him play some high balls. My serve and return helped a lot today. “At this point, I’m looking forward to big matches and being in my first semi-final is good.
I hope my best performances are still coming and I just want to do my best tomorrow”. Ruusuvuori faces next Adrian Mannarino, who defeated American Mackenzie McDonald to make the Nur-Sultan semifinal.