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Novak Djokovic on Andrey Rublev after thrilling Paris Masters semi-final: Snake suffocating a frog


Novak Djokovic on Andrey Rublev after thrilling Paris Masters semi-final: Snake suffocating a frog

World No.1 Novak Djokovic significantly advanced towards a potential record seventh Paris Masters title this weekend. The Serbian accomplished this feat by securing a 5-7 7-6(3) 7-5 victory over Russian fifth seed Andrey Rublev, thereby setting the stage for the finals against the experienced Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria.

Dimitrov edged out Greek seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in a tight match, scoring 6-3 6-7(1) 7-6(3), thus progressing to his second ATP Masters 1000 final, and his first one since 2017. The match also brought him a step closer to breaking a six-year break from championship victories.

The contest between Djokovic and Rublev came with the former having an upper hand, with four victories in five matches, inclusive of the last three consecutive ones. Despite breaking Rublev in the first game, Djokovic lost the advantage right away.

At the age of 36, Djokovic fought through his service games, successfully saved three break points to keep even footing at 4-4, but eventually yielded the first set due to an unsuccessful drop shot — a move made while he was trailing 6-5.

“Rublev was suffocating me like a snake suffocates a frog for most of the match,” Djokovic remarked.

“He was playing at an extremely high level. I knew that he possesses great quality but today he played off the charts. I don’t think I’ve ever faced Rublev this good.”

The duo went head-to-head in the subsequent set, with Djokovic reigning supreme in the tiebreak to level the match with an ace, followed by on-court treatment for a lower back issue.

A revitalised Djokovic then seized the pivotal break in the 12th game of the decisive third set following Rublev’s double fault. This prolonged his victorious streak to 17 matches since his Wimbledon final

defeat to Carlos Alcaraz.

“In the third set I was always there… He came up with some big serves when he needed to. In the end the double fault was an unfortunate ending for him but I think I deserved it considering the effort and the fight I put in,” Djokovic reported.

Published By:

sabyasachi chowdhury

Published On:

Nov 5, 2023

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