In Turin, the Nitto ATP Finals, the $ 7.25 million Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) final competition, determined all the participants in the semi-finals. The rival of last year’s champion Daniil Medvedev will be the debutant of the tournament, 22-year-old Kasper Ruud, who, in a stubborn match for second place in his group in a tie-break of the third game, broke the resistance of Andrei Rublev, and the first racket of the world Novak Djokovic will play with Alexander Zverev.
The meeting with Kasper Ruud not only decided whether to be Andrei Rublev in the semifinals. She also looked like a suitable remedy for a quick and rather painful defeat to Novak Djokovic in the second round match, at the end of which the Serb said that he had managed to take his opponent out of his comfort zone, and gave reason to once again speculate about the lack of variability in his game. Such conversations often get on the nerves and tennis players are much more experienced than Rublev. But on Friday, the other half of the court was not the five-time winner of the final tournament, but his debutant, whom the Russian also beat four times in a row. It is clear that the eighth number in the world rankings, by definition, cannot be a whipping boy, but at the decisive moment of the group stage it was difficult to find a more acceptable opponent for Rublev.
And the first game was completely under his dictation. The Norwegian, who, like in his previous meeting with Briton Cameron Norrie, entered the game for too long, played the first set extremely poorly. Rublev looked more accurate and confident, pumping up the pace with his signature heavy right punches. And in the opening of the second game, everything continued in the same vein. Leading with a break, the Russian in the fourth game had 40:15 on his serve.
What happened next can hardly be considered a mere coincidence, since Ruud, of course, was not going to surrender without a fight at all. Be that as it may, three of the next four draws Rublev lost because of his mistakes, and in another case, the Norwegian succeeded in a brilliant right-hand shot. And the Russian, as if feeling that everything had irrevocably turned the other way, threw his racket onto the court.
“You can probably say that it was a turning point. It was difficult for me to pretend that nothing had happened, and besides, I was pretty tightly squeezed. Although then I again had chances, both in the second set and in the third. But somewhere Casper played better, but somewhere he was not lucky, ”the distressed Rublev shared with the Kommersant correspondent his feelings at the end of the game.
After that, it was no longer possible to speak of any superiority of the Russian. An equal tennis battle began, in which everyone had their own trump cards. Rublev has slightly flatter strokes, which, perhaps, better suited the fast Turin surface, Ruud has, albeit not an outstanding, but much faster (almost 30 km / h) second serve, which is considered one of the key class indicators in tennis player. The end of the second set remained with the Norwegian, and in the middle of the third Rublev was the first to take someone else’s serve, but again immediately gave his own. In the tie-break, Ruud, in the most decisive moment, nevertheless used the weakness of Rublev’s second serve and successfully left the reception to the net, leading – 6: 4, after which the rivals exchanged aces at the very finish line. As a result – the Norwegian triumph with a score of 2: 6, 7: 5, 7: 6 (7: 5) in 2 hours 23 minutes.
Thus, on Saturday, Daniil Medvedev will play with Kasper Ruud, whom he defeated twice, not in the hall, but in the open air – on grass and hard. In the other semifinals, Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev will meet, who have a much longer history of relations: the Serb has an advantage in personal meetings – 7: 3.
Nitto ATP Finals in Turin (Italy)
Prize fund – $ 7.25 million
Green group. Third round. Kasper Ruud (Norway, 8) -Andrey Rublev (Russia, 5) 2: 6, 7: 5, 7: 6 (7: 5).
The match Novak Djokovic (Serbia, 1) – Cameron Norrie (Great Britain, 10) ended after the issue was signed to print. Norri replaced Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece, 4), who had withdrawn from the tournament due to injury.
Red group. Third round. Alexander Zverev (Germany, 3) —Hubert Hurkach (Poland, 7) 6: 2, 6: 4. Daniil Medvedev (Russia, 2) – Yannick Sinner (Italy, 9) 6: 0, 6: 7 (5: 7), 7: 6 (10: 8).
Sinner replaced Matteo Berrettini (Italy, 6), who has withdrawn from the tournament due to injury.
Today in the 1/2 finals there are: Djokovic-Zverev, Medvedev-Ruud.