Rublev Overcomes Djokovic, Wins Serbia Open Title

Andrey Rublev (photo: Serbia Open)


Andrey Rublev captured the title of the Serbia Open by beating home favourite, defending champion and top seed of the ATP 250 clay-court tournament Novak Djokovic 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-0 in Sunday’s singles final.

The No. 2 seed from Russia converted six of his 12 break-point chances to secure victory in two hours and 27 minutes. Djokovic fought back from a set down for the fourth time this week in front of his home fans at the Novak Tennis Center in Belgrade, but ran out of steam in the decider.

It was Rublev’s first win over a World No. 1 and gives the 24-year-old a third tour-level title of the season – equalling the tally of Rafael Nadal – following previous victories in Marseille and Dubai in February.

“It is big to play against you and share the court for the second time,” Rublev said during the trophy ceremony.

“I hope we have more battles. I feel so great here, it is a very nice city. It feels really special. I want to say a big thanks to all the spectators for supporting all the players all week. To see full crowds again is special for all of us.”

The World No. 8 from Moscow earned €81,310 in prize money and collected 250 ATP Ranking points.

Djokovic now holds a 37-6 record at his home tournament, having lifted the trophy at the Serbia Open in 2009 and 2011 and at the Belgrade Open last season.

“It’s a shame I lost all my energy in the third set and failed to put up a better fight,” said Djokovic.

“However, I see this final as a positive thing. I congratulate Andrey on the title. He’s had a good week, and he’s one of top tennis players in the world for a reason. At the end, I have to say that I’m tired. I could have lost the in the first round. I’ve had three tough three set matches and that will help me in the continuation of the season. At least this weariness caught up with me in the fourth match and not in the first, like it happened in Monte Carlo. Paris is my goal and I hope I’ll be ready.”