Novak Djokovic did not have a restful Roman afternoon. The Serbian, nervous and delicate with his forehand, was roughed up by Norwegian Casper Ruud during much of his semi-final. But the world n ° 1 tightened the game in the hot moments to win in straight sets (7-5, 6-3) and fly to a 10th final in the Italian capital.
Djokovic has done it again. Jostled by a Casper Ruud without complexes on the Roman clay, the Serbian broke but never folded this Sunday. And while the Norwegian served as the win in the first set, “Djoko” released a few well-felt shots to reverse the trend. True to form.
Djokovic still so strong back to the wall
The Serbian indeed ran behind the score for most of the first set. Uncomfortable in the exchange, he especially had to deal with a very catchy Casper Ruud who never seemed inhibited by his first Masters 1000 semi-final. The Norwegian quickly broke before taking the shock in the exchange, notably based on a forehand as powerful as it is precise. But the ATP Tour boss is never as strong as when he’s on the brink. Led and roughed up during almost the whole set, the Serbian tightened the game, broke, and scored 5 games in a row to win the first round in extremis.
Touched but not sunk by this cruel scenario, Ruud did not give up. Very comfortable on earth (he won the title in Buenos Aires at the start of the year), Christian Ruud’s son continued to give the world No. 1 a hard time. But the latter, even far enough from his best level, was able to make the difference in important moments to never let go of the match. Failing to be imperial in the game, the native of Belgrade was at the service, inquiring the aces during the most tense moments.
The “Cosmic Djokovic” is therefore still far away, and yet the Serbian will indeed be there in the final. In the absence of Rafael Nadal, struck down by Diego Schwartzman last night, he will be a huge favorite, whether he plays against the Argentinian or Denis Shapovalov, who will face each other in the early evening. The world n ° 1 could take the opportunity to burn politeness to his Spanish rival and become the record holder for the Masters 1000 titles, with a possible 36th victory in this category of tournaments. And prepare Roland-Garros in the best possible way.
Casper Ruud and Novak Djokovic – Masters 1000 Rome
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