“That’s a shot you would have stuck your house on Djokovic making,” one of the commentators calling the Serbia Open final said, after a forehand pass from the ATP No. 1 found the bottom of the net on Sunday.

It was true. Djokovic seemed to have everything set up for another crowd-pleasing comeback win in front of his hometown fans, this time against Andrey Rublev. As he had in his previous three matches this week, Djokovic had lost the first set, before scratching and clawing, huffing and puffing, and finally fist-pumping his way through a second-set tiebreaker, to the immense delight of the audience. Now he was up 15-40 on Rublev’s serve to start the third set.

But even as Djokovic’s game was improving, his physical condition was deteriorating. He hunched over over after long rallies, and walked slowly and heavily between points. Two weeks earlier in Monte Carlo, Djokovic, who will turn 35 in May, ran out of gas in a third set against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, a development that even he found concerning.

In Belgrade, he had survived tough three-setters against Laslo Djere, and Karen Khachanov. But just when he seemed to have raised his fitness to an adequate level against Rublev, he ran out of gas again. That missed forehand pass at the start of the third set was a harbinger: By the third game, was barely moving, and he ended up surrendering a rare bagel set in a 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-0 loss to Rublev.

There was one point in Sunday’s Porsche Grand Prix final that served as a good summation of what it’s like to face Iga Swiatek right now.

Swiatek had won the first set over Aryna Sabalenka, in the routine 6-2 fashion we’ve come to expect from the WTA’s new No. 1. Now Sabalenka, after making 18 unforced errors in the first eight games, was attempting a second-set reset. Or at least she was hoping to attempt a second-set reset.

Sabalenka went on the attack in the opening games, hit with more power, and ran Swiatek across the baseline. There was only one problem: The harder Sabalenka hit the ball, the harder, and more accurately, it came back. Swiatek held her ground, refused to back up, and turned Sabalenka’s pace against her. Instead of finding herself dictating play, it was Sabalenka who was doing most of the running. At the end of one rally, after watching Swiatek return everything with interest, Sabalenka finally appeared to raise the white flag. She couldn’t even finish her final backhand swing, and just slapped the ball limply and resignedly into the net. The second set had just begum, but the match was already over. Swiatek would win it 6-2, 6-2 for her 23rd straight victory, fourth straight tournament title, and first on clay this season.

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