Rublev Battles Past De Minaur
The third time was the charm for Andrey Rublev against Alex de Minaur.
The fifth seed earned his first victory against the Australian (1-2) on Wednesday evening, when he rallied for a 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory to reach the third round of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. Rublev will next play ninth seed Jannik Sinner for a place in the quarter-finals.
Rublev entered his match against De Minaur with an 0-2 record against his fellow Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals alumnus. After losing the first set 2-6 and facing two break points in the first game of the second set, it seemed the 2021 Monte Carlo finalist was in trouble.
But on the second of those break points, De Minaur missed a forehand drop volley, and from there the momentum shifted. Rublev won 11 of the next 13 games to move to the brink of victory at 5-1 in the third set.
De Minaur battled hard to claw within one break in the decider and earn three break points at 4-5, but the fifth seed managed to close out the match after two hours and three minutes.
Sinner’s triumph was not as complicated. The Italian eliminated Finnish qualifier Emil Ruusuvuori 7-5, 6-3 after one hour and 43 minutes.
Just weeks ago on the hard courts of the Miami Open presented by Itau, Sinner saved three match points en route to defeating Ruusuvuori in a final-set tie-break. This time, the ninth seed converted five of his 10 break points.
Rublev and Sinner are level at 1-1 in their ATP Head2Head series, but Rublev’s win came in Vienna in 2020 after just three games when Sinner retired.