Djokovic defeats Andrey Rublev to reach last four in Turin
Novak Djokovic booked his place in the last four of the ATP Finals with a crushing 6-4, 6-1 defeat of Russian Andrey Rublev at the Turin showpiece on Wednesday.
After his victory, Novak confirmed that he will take part in next year’s Australian Open after being granted a visa.
“I was very happy to receive the news yesterday,” the 35-year-old Serb, who was sent home from Australia on the eve of last year’s event after a row about his Covid-19 vaccination status, said.
After the first nine games went with serve, Djokovic switched on the afterburners to outclass Rublev.
Rublev, who like Djokovic had won his opening match at the year-ender, capitulated when serving to stay in the opener, losing the set as Djokovic thumped a backhand return winner.
The second set was a nonevent as five-time champion Djokovic roared to victory in little more than an hour.
“I played one of my best matches of the year,” Djokovic, who was watched for the first time by both his children Stefan and Tara,” said on court.
“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 guaranteed a place in the weekend’s semi-finals when Djokovic will hope to equal Roger Federer’s title record at the ATP’s season-ender, the 35-year-old Serb said he will not be relaxing against Medvedev on Friday.
“It won’t just be a stroll in the park,” he said.
“Knowing I’m in the semis it’s a great boost but at the same time I want to focus on every match.”
On Tuesday, Rafael Nadal was eliminated from the ATP Finals as Casper Ruud beat American Taylor Fritz 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(6) in their round-robin match, which also guaranteed that teenager Carlos Alcaraz would end the year as world No.1.