Russian Andrey Rublev reached the BNP Paribas Open doubles final last week alongside countryman Aslan Karatsev. Rublev had no problem with a different partner on Tuesday in Moscow.
The singles World No. 6 and another Russian, Karen Khachanov, eliminated third-seeded Australians Luke Saville and John-Patrick Smith 6-2, 7-5 to reach the quarter-finals of the VTB Kremlin Cup.
“I’ve played with Karen so many times and we’ve gotten used to each other. Plus we’ve known each other since we were kids, so we know each other perfectly,” Rublev told ATPTour.com. “With Aslan, it’s different. In my opinion, I think Aslan plays doubles the best of all of us, the way he thinks, the way he returns, plays with the volleys.
“He knows more how to play more like a doubles player compared to all of us [Russians], and I think he’s a great player who can play really, really good in doubles.”
“I think Andrey is not a bad doubles player because everybody from us [Russians] wins matches with him,” Khachanov interjected, cracking a laugh.
Khachanov and Rublev have made two ATP Masters 1000 finals together, and will try to claim their first ATP Tour trophy as a team this week.[FOLLOW ACTION]
Second Seeds Advance In Antwerp
Second seeds Nicolas Mahut and Fabrice Martin moved into the quarter-finals of the European Open on Tuesday with a 6-3, 6-2 triumph against home favourites Ruben Bemelmans and Kimmer Coppejans.
Frenchmen Mahut and Martin are competing together for the second time this season after making the quarter-finals in Winston-Salem two months ago.