Andrey Rublev tried to embarrass Novak Djokovic in the second round match at the Nitto ATP Finals, but his explosive charge was dashed by his opponent’s strikes. What changed things in a very balanced first set was a convenient smash missed by the Russian at 4-5, 40-40.
Djokovic immediately seized the opportunity by putting pressure on Rublev. The 25-year-old Muscovite could not erase the serious mistake from his mind and was very nervous in the second set, which the Belgrade player ended up dominating widely.
“I think the match only lasted one set, because in the second I completely disconnected. No more tennis was played. Everything was clear. The first set is the hardest to play against Novak, especially on this surface. He served very well, a very high percentage of first balls, all very close to the line.
I never really got a chance to do anything. Only once was I ahead 15-30, but nothing special,” Rublev said at the press conference. Managing emotions? “It’s a bit of everything. Even the typical situations of everyday life, when you are stressed and face different problems.
I also try to face them calmly. These are things that can help you. Also on the pitch, of course. It all starts with training. You have to do it every day, watching meditation videos and things like that. Is there a gap with the best players? I don’t know, honestly.
Obviously Novak and Rafael Nadal are always the favorites in every tournament. Everyone hopes to see them in the final. I don’t know what to say. Novak is one of the best ever.” To get to the semi-finals, Rublev will have to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas next Friday.
“I don’t know what to expect. I’m still not thinking about my next match.”
Nole Djokovic on the tennis media
Novak Djokovic recently opened up about the unjust and harsh criticism he is subject to from the tennis media.
“I know that people sometimes think I’m fake, that I do certain things because I want to be loved. It’s not like that, I’m just trying to be genuine. It’s something we’re losing,” Djokovic said, adding , “It is not possible to please everyone but by now the politically correct forces us to give up expressing our ideas with respect, without hatred, but with freedom.
Freedom of speech for me today is just an illusion. I had an extraordinary example of this this year, with what happened to me around the vaccine issue. I expressed myself for the freedom to be able to dispose of one’s body, and immediately I was accused of being a no-vax, which I am not.
If you don’t belong to a certain way of thinking, you quickly become the bad guy. That’s no good,” he expressed.