Novak Djokovic’s first ATP final of 2022 at the Serbian Open ended with a three-set loss to Russian Andrey Rublev in Sunday’s final.
The 20-time Grand Slam winner was seeking his first title since excelling at the Paris Masters in November, but lost 2-6, 7-6, 6-0 to a relentless Rublev.
It took the Russian 146 minutes to defeat Djokovic at home and was rewarded by a quick start against the Serbian, who took just one of his nine opportunities to break for the day.
Djokovic fought hard in the second set and managed to force a tiebreak against a slightly frustrated Rublev who was quickly 4-1 down in the decider.
The Russian rediscovered his relentless return form, however, and while Djokovic managed to salvage two championship points from a 5-0 deficit, a phenomenal forehand return from Rublev earned him the championship down the line after a bagel.
Rublev’s Serbia Open title represents his 11th career ATP singles victory and his third of 2022 after his previous successes at Open 13 and the Dubai Tennis Championships in February.