Djokovic Gets Revenge On Rune In Paris Thriller, Will Face Rublev In SF; Dimitrov v Tsitsipas
A year ago it was Holger Rune stunning Novak Djokovic to win the Paris title. Today, Djokovic had his revenge over the Dane in a three-set thriller 7-5, 6-7(3-7), 6-4.
After playing a poor breaker, Djokovic rebounded in the third serving his way to the win behind a break for 2-1.
Djokovic lost just three points on serve in the third set and for the match, connected on 10 aces, was broken once while breaking the Boris Becker-coached Rune three times.
“It was quite a similar match to last year’s final, it was any body’s game in every set.” Djokovic said to the ATP. “I played an awful tie-break in the second set, probably the worst one this year. But again credit to him for staying mentally tough and playing solid. We have similar games. Move well, defend well and all-round players.
“He has been playing much better in the past few weeks since working with Boris,” he added. “It was strange seeing Boris in the opposing box. I wish Holger and him all the best.”
Djokovic has won his last 16 matches. He and Rune have now split their four head-to-head wins.
Despite the loss, Rune still clinched a spot in Turin. That happened when Hubert Hurkacz fell to Grigor Dimitrov 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. Dimitrov is now 4-0 against Hurkacz.
“He’s such a complex player in the same time,” Dimitrov said of Hurakcz. “I think people see him only as serving big and kind of very crafty and all that, but I think he’s an extremely dangerous player, I think.
“I think his game also, like, how can I say, that kind of keeps me alive throughout the whole time, because I like that type of a game when someone is attacking me, when they have big serve and stuff like that. Today was also very difficult. I mean, there were like five games I was just a stop sign. I just didn’t know which way to go, what to do, how to return.”
Dimitrov will now face Stefanos Tsitsipas who knocked out former champion Karen Khachanov 6-3, 6-4. The Russian won a total of one point on second serve in the second set.
The victory was Tsitsipas’s 300th already of his young career.
Andrey Rublev also reached the semifinals taking care of 13th-seeded Alex De Minaur 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.
Rublev will now take on six-time champion Djokovic on Saturday. Djokovic is ahead of Rublev 4-1 in their tour-level encounters winning this year in the Wimbledon quarters. Djokovic is also 8-0 in Paris Indoor semifinal matches.
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