Andrey Rublev news: Russian makes another final after marathon match
Second seed Andrey Rublev survived a fast start from Hubert Hurkacz to book his place in an ATP Tour final for the second week in succession.
It took two hours and 23 minutes but Rublev scratched his way past the Pole 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(5).
Rublev will now face either sixth seed Denis Shapovalov or Jiri Vesely in Saturday’s championship match, two left-handers enjoying strong runs in Dubai.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) February 25, 2022
Shapovalov is no stranger to big matches while Vesely showed tremendous court-craft in his win over Novak Djokovic.
Rublev is wary of the threat of both Vesely and Shapovalov.
“Vesely is playing really great this week, he beat so many good players,” said Rublev.
“Novak [Djokovic], [Roberto] Bautista Agut.
“These two players have huge respect on tour, and obviously Novak is No. 1., and he [Vesely] beat both of them, which means this week he’s played incredible tennis.
“Shapo [Shapovalov] is Shapo.
“I’ve played some tough matches against him and he’s an amazing player with great strokes, so we’ll see what’s going to happen.”
Rublev was drained after another long and intense battle, having endured a three-setters twice already this week.
“I’m feeling super happy and super tired,” said Rublev, who is now one win from his fifth ATP 500 title.
“I could not imagine that it would happen this week again, that I would be in a final, and I’m just happy.”
Rublev has surprised himself with his recent exploits on the ATP Tour.
“I could not imagine how [Stefanos] Tsitsipas did it twice, because two years in a row he won the title in Marseille and [reached] the final in Dubai,” Rublev added.
“I was thinking that was impossible to do, and somehow I did it this year. I still don’t know even myself how I did it, so let’s see what happens next.”
Rublev was the picture of patience as he hung in there against the big-serving Pole.
After dropping the first set, Rublev took his chance at the crucial moment by breaking for 7-5 to level the match with a forehand winner in the second set.
Neither player blinked in the final set and it came down to a tiebreaker which the Russian won comfortably.
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