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Andrey Rublev won the Serbia Open after outlasting Novak Djokovic 6-2, 6-7, 6-0. After Rublev had taken the first set 6-2, Djokovic fought back to level in the second, but faded in the third as a long week of three-set matches took its toll. It was Rublev’s third title of the season after winning in Marseille and Dubai, and the first time he has ever beaten Djokovic.

Andrey Rublev won the Serbia Open title after defeating Novak Djokovic 6-2, 6-7, 6-0 in Belgrade.

The encounter had been a close-run thing until the final set, when Djokovic’s efforts to get back on terms in the second set – and his long week in Belgrade involving four three-set matches in a row – took their toll.

Nonetheless Djokovic will likely see the event as a positive stepping stone in his quest to build up his fitness and sharpness since returning to the ATP Tour in Monte Carlo.

Whether it was the Djokovic serve lacking its customary reliability and bite or Rublev’s return game being on point, that was where the match was won and lost with Rublev taking six of his 12 break point chances, with Djokovic only able to break the Rublev serve once from his nine opportunities.

It was therefore credit to Djokovic that after falling behind he was still able to find a route back into the match, but he was unable to respond in the third set as Rublev stepped up a gear.

For Rublev, it represented his first-ever win over Djokovic and the third title of an impressive 2022 so far, having won in Marseille and Dubai.

Next on the horizon for both players will be the Madrid Open, the penultimate clay-court Masters event before Roland Garros.

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