Rublev Edges Zverev In Vienna

  • Posted: Oct 27, 2023

Rublev Edges Zverev In Vienna

Third seed chasing third title of season

Former Erste Bank Open champion Andrey Rublev equalled his personal-best season on Friday when he defeated Alexander Zverev 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-3 to earn his 53rd win of the year.

The 26-year-old, who has also notched 53 victories in 2021, hit with relentless intensity against Zverev, red-lining the ball off both wings. He struck 24 winners to advance to the semi-finals after two hours and 32 minutes in Vienna.

“It was a super tough match,” Rublev said. “I am lucky I played great points in the first set and to get an early break. That gave me a lot of confidence, because when you are one set up it is easier to play. Then in the second set he was serving much better. I had one chance to break him and I was unlucky. Then classic tie-break and he played well.

“In the third set I was able to start well and get an early break. Then a couple of break points and the last game was dramatic but I think I played well. Aggressive on those points and finishing at the net.”

Rublev qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals earlier this week and continued his impressive form with a hard-working win against Zverev, saving all six break points he faced in the third set to improve to 3-5 in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series.

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The third seed, who triumphed in Vienna in 2020, will continue the quest for his third title of the year and sixth ATP 500 crown overall when he meets Jannik Sinner or Frances Tiafoe in the last four. Earlier this season, Rublev lifted trophies in Monte-Carlo and Bastad, while he arrived in Vienna off the back of a final run in Shanghai.

Zverev’s defeat has slightly dented his Nitto ATP Finals qualification chances. The German, who is a two-time champion at the prestigious year-end event, is seventh in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, 405 points clear of ninth-placed Taylor Fritz, who is just outside the Top 8 cut.

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