Belgrade, Serbia – Andrei Rublev defeated Novak Djokovic 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-0 to win the Serbia Open on Sunday to claim his third title of the season.
The second-seeded Russian plowed deep to prevent Djokovic from making a comeback as he prevented the top-ranked Serbian from claiming his first title in 2022.
Djokovic had already come back from a group in each of his three matches in his hometown tournament, defeating Laszlo Djiri, Miomir Kikmanovic and Karen Khachanov on his way to the final in what were only his fifth, sixth and seventh matches of the year.
The 20-times Grand Slam champion opened his claycourt season with a shock loss to Alejandro Davidovic Fokina at the Monte Carlo Masters the previous week, his first match since being eliminated in the quarter-finals of the Dubai Championships in February.
Dubai was his first tournament of the year after he was banned from the Australian Open due to his vulnerable status, which also prevented him from playing tournaments in the United States last month.
Rublev has now equaled Rafael Nadal’s mark with three Tour titles in 2022, after winning in Marseille and Dubai in February.