It was a duel for second place in the green group and promotion to the semi-finals. So far, both tennis players have had one victory each and a defeat against the leader of the world ranking – Serb Novak Djokovic.
Ruud broke a bad streak
The history of the matches of these tennis players so far could indicate only one favorite – Andrei Rublev. The Russian won all five matches, and in the last three he did not even lose a set.
The first batch of Friday’s duel indicated that Rublev would maintain the great series. He probably won 6: 2. The Russian had as much as 92 percent. points won after the first pass (rival only 55%). In addition, he made only four unforced mistakes (Norwegian nine) and had more winners (8-7).
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Rublov broke Ruud at the beginning of the second set, leading 2-1, 40:15 and it seemed that he had an open road to the ATP Finals semi-finals. The Norwegian, however, started to play much better, scored four points in a row and quickly recovered. Not only that, in the twelfth game he broke the Russian again and won the set.
In the decisive set, Rublev again missed the breakthrough advantage (at 3: 2). He immediately lost the lead, and then both tennis players won their serve and it was a tie-break. It was very balanced. Ruud was losing 1: 2 but scored three points in a row. Then, with his lead 5: 3, he was unlucky, because after the Russian’s forehand, the ball touched the tape and landed on his side. In a moment, however, Ruud had a brilliant smash in the long trade and had two match balls. Rublev defended the first with a service ace. But in the same way, Ruud ended the game.
Both tennis players served fourteen aces and won 14 of the 18 net actions. Ruud had more winners (39-33) and made fewer unforced mistakes (22-31).
In the ATP Finals semi-finals, Ruud will face another Russian, second in the world ranking, Daniil Medvedev. In the second semi-final, Novak Djoković will play against German Alexander Zverev (3rd ATP). First, however, the Serb will end the group stage. On Friday at His 21st rival will be Cameron Norrie (12th ATP).