Djokovic reached the semi-finals of the ATP Finals.

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Turin:

Novak Djokovic reached the last four of the ATP Finals for the 10th time on Wednesday with a comfortable victory over Andrei Rubello in Tour.

Bidding to equal Roger Federer’s record of six titles in the final event of the season, the world number one secured his 50th match of the year by defeating fifth seed Rubello 6-3, 6-2.

Djokovic has secured top positions in the Green Group thanks to consecutive street seat victories.

“I did a good job (and) it helped a lot,” Djokovic said. “I wanted to keep it out of its comfort zone, take the time to adjust the pace. Overall it was a great performance.”

Norway’s Caspar Road kept alive their chances of reaching the last four by defeating British substitute Cameron Nouri 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the night match.

Djokovic, 34, is trying to end a notable year in which he missed out on completing the Calendar Grand Slam with a defeat at the hands of Daniel Medvedev in the US Open final.

He plays Noori in his final round robin match on Friday.

A rematch with second-placed Medvedev in the final in Italy is still possible, with defending champions Russia topping the red group.

Djokovic is bidding for the back-to-back title after successfully returning to action at the Paris Masters earlier this month, beating Medvedev in the final.

Serb have not won an ATP final since 2015, losing in the final to Andy Murray and Alexander Zverev in 2016 and 2018, respectively, and falling in the last four with Dominic Theme last year.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion was too strong for Rubello, however, with 14 aces to his name and 19 winners to beat his opponent.

He broke twice in each set of the match, which lasted only 69 minutes.

Djokovic added: “By winning the first set, I put extra pressure on him, and I probably started playing more consistently from behind the court.”

Earlier, Nouri replaced Stefanos Setsipas in the draw after the Greek star was ruled out with an elbow injury.

The world number four declined to comment on the issue after his initial defeat against Rubello, but admitted on Wednesday that the injury had forced him to retire from his first match in Paris. They were still an obstacle.

“I have made the difficult decision to retire from the 2021 final due to my elbow injury, which has been bothering me for weeks now,” said Setsipas.

“It’s a very difficult decision for me to make.”

Djokovic’s victory left Nouri with an outright chance to reach the semi-finals, despite playing fewer matches than his rivals.

The British player attacked the opening set against Road, but Norway equalized after breaking a 5-3 lead in the second set.

Ruud claimed a decisive break in the fifth game of the decider to secure his first victory in the event. His next match will be against the ruble, in which a place in the semi-finals is at stake.





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