‘Will Be His Moment’ – Andrey Rublev on Playing Against Novak Djokovic on His Home Soil at Serbia Open 2022

Published 04/23/2022, 11:42 PM EDT
Tennis – ATP 500 – Dubai Tennis Championships – The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates – February 25, 2022 Russia’s Andrey Rublev celebrates winning his semi final match against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

The two top seeds, Novak Djokovic and Andrey Rublev will lock horns in the final of the Serbia Open on Sunday. Djokovic recorded his third consecutive come-from-behind victory this week after defeating Karen Khachanov 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. In the other semifinal, Rublev hardly broke any sweat in his comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 over Fabio Fognini. In an on-court interview after his semifinal win, Rublev opened up about the prospect of facing local favorite and World No.1, Novak Djokovic in the final in Belgrade.

Andrey Rublev wants to have fun

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In an interview after his win, Rublev expressed about having fun against the 20-time Grand Slam champion in the final. He acknowledged that it should be Djokovic’s moment as he is playing on his home soil.

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Rublev said, “Yeah, it’s gonna be fun, I mean, tomorrow I have nothing to lose. I can go and enjoy, I did my minimum. So, tomorrow, like I said, he plays at home so, it will be his moment, so the best I can do is to fight and to try to do my best, and that’s it.”

While some people had doubts over Novak Djokovic’s form, since he is short of match practice from the beginning of this season, the World No, 1 hasn’t disappointed his countless fans. Despite dropping the opening set of all the matches at the Serbian Open so far this year, he has managed to bounce back to claw his way to reach the finals in Belgrade. He is eyeing his maiden title of the 2022 season.

Rublev’s suggestion following the Wimbledon ban

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Russia’s Davis Cup team with Shamil Tarpischev, team captain, Karen Khachanov, Daniil Medvedev, Evgeny Donskoy, Andrey Rublev and Konstantin Zhzhenov. Draw ceremony in the Swiss Tennis Arena in Biel, Switzerland, on Thursday, January 31, 2019. Switzerland will be face Russia in the tennis Davis Cup qualification final round. EPA-EFE/PETER SCHNEIDER

When tension started escalating in Eastern Europe, it was Andrey Rublev who first came out against the war. He wrote “No war please” on the lense-glass after winning the semi-finals at the Dubai Tennis Championships. After Wimbledon’s recent decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from participating at this year’s tournament, Rublev came up with another suggestion. Rublev’s suggestion of donating the prize money that they earn at Wimbledon to Ukrainian aid has been well-accepted by the tennis fraternity at large.

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Can Rublev, punch above his weight, to stun Djokovic in the final on Sunday? Or will Djokovic prevail over Rublev to record his maiden title of the 2022 season in Belgrade?

An intriguing clash awaits us as the top two seeds battle it out for the title on Sunday in Belgrade!

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Rishma Banerjee

321 articles

Rishma Banerjee is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having done her masters in Political Science with International Relations from Jadavpur University, Rishma's outlet from the hustle-bustle of academics has always been sports, especially Tennis. A die-hard fan of Rafael Nadal, she admires his grit, determination and dedication towards always being better. When not writing content for firms dealing with fintech to social media marketing to sports, she finds herself in journals and books dealing with geopolitics and strategic studies or scrolling endlessly through Tumblr!

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