Novak Djokovic is still not released in 2022. His third tournament of the year ended with a defeat against Andrey Rublev, and against his team, by 6-2, 6-7 (4) and 6-0 in 2h:26 at the end of Serbia Open, the ATP 250 that takes place in your clubthe Novak Tennis Center in Belgrade.
Number one’s lead melted. Simply. Exhausted and appearing to be on the brink of withdrawal (he even used ice-filled towels in the breaks to mitigate the suffocation), he could not compete in the third set in which he conceded a thread (6-0).
— ATP Tour (@atptour) April 24, 2022
The first went to Djokovic thanks to two breaks of the world number eight, who wins his third tournament of the year after Dubai and Marseille. In the second, it grew with the support of more than 8,000 spectators and after wasting three set points, a tie-break was reached that dominated. But in which he left what little energy he had left. He was left empty.
Djokovic (34 years old), who was expelled from Australia for his refusal to get vaccinated, has only been able to play three tournaments this year. He fell in the quarterfinals in Dubai against Jiry Vesely (123rd), in Monte Carlo in his debut against Alejandro Davidovich (46th) and in his club he suffered in each round having to trace Dusan Lajovic, Miomir Kecmanovic and Karen Khachanov. The one from Belgrade lacks depth and rhythm, who survived thanks to his enormous class but could not withstand the hard rallies that Rublev demanded of him, which ended up breaking him down.
Djokovic’s 87th title will have to wait. His next stop will be the Masters 1,000 in Madrid (from May 2), then Rome will come (9-15) to lead to Roland Garros (from May 22) where it is his turn to defend the title. Seen the seen, a lot will have to improve, at least in the physical plane.
At a press conference, Djokovic he attributed his slump to “an illness” What happened “recently”. “It is not the coronavirus and I will not go into details, but it affected my body and my metabolism. It is worrying to have that feeling on the track. I didn’t feel tired until the end of the second set. It also happened to me in Monte Carlo,” he revealed.