Novak Djokovic will take on Andrey Rublev in the final of the Serbia Open on Sunday
Date: 24 April 2022
Tournament: Serbia Open 2022
Venue: Novak Tennis Center
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Outdoor clay
Prize money: €534,555
Live telecast: USA – Tennis Channel | UK – Amazon Prime Video | India – Discovery
Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Rublev preview
Novak Djokovic will look to win his first title of the 2022 season
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will square off against second seed Andrey Rublev in the final of the Serbia Open on Sunday.
The Serb has spent a limited amount of time on the court this season, having missed the Australian Open and the Masters 1000 tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami due to his COVID-19 vaccination status.
Djokovic’s first tournament this season was at the Dubai Tennis Championships, where he reached the quarterfinals with wins over Lorenzo Musetti and Karen Khachanov. However, he was shocked by Jiri Vesely in the last eight.
The 34-year-old then competed at the Monte-Carlo Masters but lost to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the second round.
Djokovic entered the Serbia Open as the top seed and started with a hard-fought three-set win over Laslo Djere. He had to dig deep in is next match against Miomir Kecmanovic, beating his compatriot 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 to reach the semifinals of the tournament. The Serb once again dropped the first set in the semifinals against Khachanov but played his best tennis of the week to dispose of the Russian.
Rublev has had an excellent season so far, with 22 wins out of 27 matches. The Russian started with a third-round exit at the Australian Open following which he made a run to the semifinals at Rotterdam.
Rublev won his first title of the season by beating Felix Auger-Aliassime in the final of the Open 13 in Marseille. The 24-year-old then won the Dubai Tennis Championships with a victory over Jiri Vesely in the final.
The Russian reached the semifinals of the Indian Wells Masters before losing to eventual champion Taylor Fritz, thus ending his 13-match winning streak.
Rublev then suffered a second-round defeat at the Miami Masters at the hands of Nick Kyrgios. He reached the last 16 at the Monte-Carlo Masters before losing to Jannik Sinner despite taking the first set.
The Russian was seeded second at the Serbia Open and started with a three-set victory against Jiri Lehecka before beating Taro Daniel to reach the semifinals. The 24-year-old reached his third final of the season with a comfortable 6-2, 6-2 win over Fabio Fognini.
Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Rublev head-to-head
This will be the second match between the two players, with Djokovic leading the head-to-head 1-0. The World No. 1 won their first meeting at last year’s ATP Finals in straight sets.
Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Rublev odds
Djokovic is is the favorite heading into the match because of his quality, experience and the fact that he is playing on his home turf.
All odds are sourced from Oddschecker.
Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Rublev prediction
Djokovic will take on his first top-10 opponent this season. The contest will provide great insight into the Serb’s form heading into a couple of big claycourt events next month.
The World No. 1 has not been close to his best this week, but the last two sets against Khachanov proved that he is getting ever closer. Djokovic admitted that he served much better against the third seed and will look to do the same against Rublev.
Rublev will look to continue his dominant form this week. The Russian will likely test Djokovic’s movement early on and will look to be aggressive from the outset.
From the Russian’s point of view, it will be important not to let Djokovic settle into a rhythm. He will look to use his powerful serve and forehand to pin the Serb to the baseline.
Djokovic’s ability and winning mentality will no doubt come in handy in the final, not to forget the crowd support. The World No. 1, however, is nowhere near his best and might find Rublev’s power and aggression too hot to handle.
Pick: Andrey Rublev to win in three sets.