Andrey Rublev called for peace after fighting to win a lengthy thriller against Daniil Medvedev in the opening match of the ATP Finals Red Group.
Rublev had to control his nerves in a final-set tiebreaker on the second day of the season-ending tournament to overcome his Russian compatriot by a score of 6-7(7), 6-3, 7-6(7). in Turin.
After his win, world number 7 Rublev seemed to send a message about the war in Ukraine, following Russia’s invasion of the country in February, by writing the word “peace” three times on one of the cameras on the pitch. followed by “all of us.” need”.
The packed crowd enjoyed two hours and 31 minutes of exceptional tennis, but it was 2020 ATP Finals winner Medvedev who took the first set.
However, Rublev was not deterred and hit 25 winners in the second and third sets to secure an important victory in the battle to advance to the semifinals.
On Monday night, Novak Djokovic continued his dominance over Stefanos Tsitsipas with a 6-4, 7-6(4) win. Djokovic’s excellent serve, his powerful forehand and his full-court defense gave him a ninth straight win over Tsitsipas in their Red Group match.
Djokovic broke the Greek in the opening game and used that advantage to capture the opening set in a match that came just two weeks after the Serb beat Tsitsipas at the Paris Masters, a tournament also played on hard courts under the ceiling.
Tsitsipas finally had his only break chance as he led 2-1 in the second set, but Djokovic smashed a header to erase the danger. Tsitsipas showed signs of life in the tiebreaker as he rallied from 5-1 down to make it 5-4, but Djokovic hit two pinpoint serves to get across the finish line.
Djokovic will next play Rublev, while Tsitsipas will face Medvedev in the second round of the round-robin phase of the season-ending tournament for the top eight players in the world.
Earlier in the day, Britain’s Neal Skupski teamed with Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands to beat Australian duo Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-7(3), 6-4, 10-5 in the Green Group of the competition. of doubles.