ATP Finals: Novak Djokovic topples Andrey Rublev to clinch Green Group

World no. 1 Novak Djokovic clinched the 50th ATP victory of the season and the milestone 40th at the ATP Finals following a commanding 6-3, 6-2 win over Andrey Rublev in 68 minutes. Novak and Andrey met for the first time, and the five-time champion had the upper hand from start to finish, firing 14 aces and getting broken from the only chance offered to the Russian. Rublev was far from those numbers, serving at 54% and dropping half of the points behind the initial shot to experience four breaks and propel Djokovic over the finish line and into the semi-final. The Serb controlled the pace with 19 winners and eight unforced errors, hitting a service winner in 33% of the points in his games and overpowering the Russian in the quickest exchanges up to four strokes to sail over the top. Novak sent a loose backhand in the encounter’s opening game to experience a break at 15, making a slow start like against Casper Ruud in the first match.

Novak Djokovic stormed over Andrey Rublev in 68 minutes.

Rublev played a terrible volley at the net in the second game to lose the advantage, and Djokovic fired a service winner in the next one to open a 2-1 lead. Andrey saved a break chance in the fourth game to avoid another setback and leveled the score at 2-2 when Novak placed a backhand behind the baseline. Novak closed the fifth game after deuce, and Andrey responded in the next one with a service winner to lock the result at 3-3. In game seven, the Serb landed an ace down the T line and hit a backhand crosscourt winner a few minutes later to earn the second break and move in front.

Serving for the opener, Djokovic held at love with an ace to wrap up the first part of the encounter in 35 minutes, eager to repeat that in set number two. The Russian sent a backhand wide in the second set’s third game to fall behind, and the Serb cemented the lead with a service winner that pushed him 3-1 in front. Dominating with his initial shot, Novak landed another ace in game six and broke Andrey for the fourth time in the next one following a loose forehand from the younger opponent. Serving for the win at 5-2, Djokovic blasted another powerful serve and sent a clear message to Daniil Medvedev ahead of their possible clash in the latter rounds. 

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