ATP Paris: Novak Djokovic edges Andrey Rublev, reaches final

Novak Djokovic will chase his seventh Paris Masters crown on Sunday

Novak Djokovic is through into the Paris Masters final. Novak took down Andrey Rublev 5-7, 7-6, 7-5 after three hours and one minute. Novak kept his serve intact after the opening set, keeping the pressure on Andrey and taking the crucial points for a tight victory.

Rublev played better behind the first and second serve in the opener, delivering two breaks and prevailing in the closing stages. Novak lacked energy, spraying 13 backhand unforced errors and failing to reach a tie break. Novak claimed three consecutive points on the return in the encounter’s opening game, securing a break with a mighty crosscourt forehand that forced Andrey’s mistake.

The Serb experienced a blow in the second game, squandering four game points and missing a chance to cement the lead. Andrey created a break chance and converted it after an extended rally, with Novak spraying a backhand error and losing balance only after 17 minutes.

Rublev moved 4-3 up after deuce following Djokovic’s loose backhand and created three break chances in game eight. Novak stayed calm, denying them and holding to remain on the positive side and add more drama. Rublev left those chances behind and held at love in game nine, keeping the pressure on Djokovic.

Novak held in game ten and served to prolong the set at 5-6. Andrey attacked and created a set point with a forehand winner. Djokovic played a tired drop shot, losing the opener 7-5 after 59 minutes and sending his rival closer to the finish line.

The Russian held at love in the second set’s first game and earned a break chance in the next one. The Serb saved it with a powerful serve, ending his downfall and holding for 1-1. Novak finally found the rhythm on the return in the fifth game, landing a forehand down the line return winner and creating three break chances.

Andrey produced bold strikes and delivered a massive hold.

Novak Djokovic took down Andrey Rublev in a thriller in Paris.
Rublev played against another break point in the seventh game, erasing it with a forehand winner and holding for 4-3.

Both players served well in the upcoming games, and Novak held at 15 in the tenth game to lock the result at 5-5 and prolong the action. Djokovic stayed calm in the 12th game, holding with ease again and introducing a tie break.

Novak won an extended rally in the sixth point, moving 4-2 up and giving the crowd something to cheer about. The Serb fired a forehand return winner for three set points and seized the first at 6-3 with an ace to introduce a decider after two hours and one minute.

After three good holds at the beginning of the final set, Rublev faced the ultimate challenge at 1-2. He saved two break points and delivered a massive hold, remaining on the positive side. Andrey held at 30 in game eight, leveling the score at 4-4 and securing more drama.

Rublev held at 30 in game ten to lock the result at 5-5, sending the pressure to the other side. Djokovic grabbed the 11th game at love after a serve & volley combo, barely losing a point behind the initial shot in the entire set.

Novak secured the crucial break at 6-5, moving over the top before the tie break and setting the clash against Grigor Dimitrov.

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