Andrey Rublev explained his reason for competing at the Serbia Open instead of the Barcelona Open
Both tournaments took place at the same time, with the Barcelona Open being the biggest of the two since it was an ATP 500 event. However, he chose to compete at the Serbia Open, which was an ATP 250 event and did not have as many of the top players competing.
In an interview with Russian newspapers Sports Express and Izvestia, Rublev said that he opted to compete in Belgrade ahead of Barcelona because the tournament organizers in the Catalonian city treated him very badly last year. He also said that the Djokovic family “appreciates me,” making the choice an easy one.
“Last year, the organizers of the tournament in Barcelona behaved ugly,” Rublev said. “When I began to ask questions, I was told that this year everything would change. But it got worse. You need to know your worth, you can’t allow yourself to be treated like that. Plus, I knew that the Djokovic family, on the contrary, appreciates me. He will help to approach the tournament in excellent shape, provide everything you need. So the choice was clear.”
Andrey Rublev won the Serbia Open by beating Novak Djokovic in the final
Andrey Rublev beat Novak Djokovic to win the Serbia Open
Andrey Rublev went on to win the Serbia Open by defeating Novak Djokovic in the final. He reached the title clash following wins over Jiri Lehecka, Taro Daniel and Fabio Fognini.
Rublev started strongly in the final and took the opening set 6-2. However, Djokovic fought back, as he had done all week, and was able to win the second set via a tie-break. The Russian, however, proved too strong in the third, bageling the exhausted World No. 1 to win the tournament.
This was Rublev’s 11th career title and his third of the 2022 season, having previously won the Open 13 and the Dubai Tennis Championships. He also claimed his third title on clay, having previously triumphed at the 2017 Croatia Open and the Hamburg European Open in 2020.
Rublev remains eighth in the ATP rankings with 4,025 points, 85 behind World No. 7 Casper Ruud. The Russian has so far won 23 out of 28 matches this season and will look to carry his form into the Madrid Open starting on May 1.