ATP Tour wrap: Rublev wins all-Russian clash as Zverev holds off Tsitsipas

A COUPLE of epic Western and Southern Open semi-finals took place in Cincinnati with the ATP Tour 1000 finalists decided following three-set wins to the two lower seeds. All top four seeds made their way into the semis, but then it was the third and fourth seeds who took the chocolates over their top two counterparts, with Andrey Rublev and Alexander Zverev to face off in the championship match.

Fourth seed Rublev had to fight back fro a first set deficit to put away an in-form Daniil Medvedev, defeating his compatriot 2-6 6-3 6-3 in a classic all-Russian battle. Medvedev had only dropped 12 games coming into the match across his three wins, and it looked to continue after only conceding two games in the first set. However Rublev had other ideas, winning the next two sets with crucial breaks to salute in two hours and 21 minutes. The young Russian had finally cracked through to win against Medvedev after four consecutive losses.

”Even when I was 2-6 down, the score should not have been like this because the points were so tight,” Rublev said post-match. “The match was so intense, so many long rallies, super tough, super physical, super mental. “A lot like a chess match.

“Medvedev is one of those players who won’t give you a chance to attack, but if I have enough power and chose the right moment, I have to be the one to make him run. “In the end, I was trying to find the perfect moment to start being more aggressive to open the angles.

“It gives me more confidence that I can compete against him. “There are still so many things to improve, but It’s like you pass university and they give you a diploma.”

Medvedev served six more aces (8-2), but only served at 54 per cent efficiency as his younger compatriot worked with a 71 per cent clip. Rublev’s ability to convert 73 per cent of his first serve points also helped, and whilst he was more vulnerable on his second serve, broke four times to three. In what was an incredibly tight contest, Rublev only won three more points than his opponent.

In the other semi-final, Zverev moved back up to world number four – leapfrogging Rafael Nadal – following his victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas. In what was another fantastic contest, Zverev needed a third set tiebreaker to shake off the Greek, winning 6-4 3-6 7-6, to continue his recent form which included a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Zverev won 7-4 in the deciding tiebreak to set up a final with Rublev.

In a battle of two clinical servers, Zverev was far more consistent than usual, serving at 75 per cent efficiency, though he won 71 per cent of his first serve points – a little lower than usual – and only 33 per cent of his second serve points. By comparison, Tsitsipas won 73 and 38 per cent, but only produced a 63 per cent clip, and was broken four times from five chances. He also broke Zverev four times, but it was Zverev’s ability to standup when it counted in the important tiebreak to grab the victory.


[3] Alexander Zverev (GER) defeated [2] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) 6-4 3-6 7-6
[4] Andrey Rublev (RUS) defeated [1] Daniil Medvedev (RUS) 2-6 6-3 6-3


Picture credit: ATP Tour

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