Novak Djokovic: ‘I think this is the first match that that happened’

After Rafael Nadal became the first player to be eliminated from semi-final contention at the 2022 Nitto ATP Finals, Wednesday’s action will see Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev playing to avoid the same fate. An overnight loss for either could spell the end of their hopes of getting out of the Red Group, while the winner of the afternoon’s clash between Novak Djokovic and Andrey Rublev could have their place in the knockout rounds confirmed later in the day.

In doubles action, top seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski take on Croatia’s Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic in a tag team battle going 1-0, while Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios take on Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek, as both couples look for their first win of the week.

With first place in the Red Group at stake, Rublev and Djokovic meet for the second consecutive year in Turin. Djokovic scored a 6-3, 6-2 win on his way to the 2021 semifinals, and another straight-sets victory here would secure his place in the final four once again.

The pair’s ATP Head2Head series is tied 1-1 as of Wednesday, with Rublev ruining the Serb’s run in the final of his hometown tournament in Belgrade earlier this year. While Djokovic fell short of his best after a long layoff in that April encounter, fading down the stretch when he dropped a 6-0 third set, Rublev’s win will give him confidence heading into Wednesday.

The sixth seed escaped a dramatic opening match against Medvedev that was packed with standout shots and marathon rallies. But Rublev may have been more proud of his mental composure in the match.

Djokovic is the favorite

Novak Djokovic has no qualms about Carlos Alcaraz securing the year-ending No.

1 rank. “He [Carlos Alcaraz] deserves it. No doubt about it. I don’t want to go into discussion what if I played less or more, whatever. It is what it is. Reality is that he’s No. 1. He deserves to be there. He won a Slam. He won many matches in tournaments.”

Novak Djokovic’s ruthless performance against Russian Andrey Rublev was witnessed live by his wife Jelena and children Stefan and Tara at the Pala Alpitour. “I mean, it’s such a nice feeling to have my family, both of my children along with my wife, watching from the first to last point. I think this is the first match that that happened,” Novak Djokovic said.

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