Rublev of Russia defeated his opponent in Monaco

Andrei Rublev scored a breakthrough on the opening day of the Monaco Masters. After trailing 0-1 in the sets, the Russian made it through to the third round.

Rublev of Russia defeated his opponent in Monaco

The first Masters began in Monte Carlo. The tournament was not yet well underway, but the high-ranked players began to drop out of the main draw. Roberto Bautista-Agut (No.14 seed), Gaël Monfils and Kristjan Garin withdrew before the tournament began. Russia’s Karen Khachanov and Aslan Karatsev dropped out in the first round. The representatives of the first eight skipped the first round and started the battle in the second round. Half of them dropped their arms. Felix Auger-Allassim (6), Cameron Norrie (7) and Miami champion Carlos Alcaraz (8) were eliminated. But the main sensation of this stage of the competition was an unexpected defeat of the world’s first racket Novak Djokovic from the Spaniard with Russian roots Alejandro Davidovic-Fokina.

In doubles the Russians did not do well either. Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev served 6-4 and 5-4 in their opening game against the Tim Puts/Michael Venus duo. But our guys didn’t use their advantage and lost the match on the championship tie-break. Aslan Karatsev together with an Australian, John Pierce, successfully overcame the starting barrier, but this duo also lost in the second round to Pecs and Vinus. Thus, by Wednesday evening there was only one Russian left in both sets – last year’s finalist Andrei Rublev (5).

Andrei is one of those young tennis players who feel great on the ground. To begin with, he won the 2014 Roland Garros junior title. The very first title Rublev won within the ATP was also on a dirt surface – Umag 2017. At adult Roland Garros, Andrei showed his best result at the Slams so far, along with the Australian Open and US Open – the quarterfinals. It should be noted that, taking into account all the eliminated and lost top players, the bottom half of the net, where Rublev turned out to be more representative. No. 2 seed Alexander Zverev was there as well as last year’s champion Stefanos Tsitsipas (3) and Miami 2021 finalist Yannick Sinner (9).

Andrei was the only Russian left at the prestigious Masters in Monte Carlo

Rublev’s opponent for the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters was Alex de Minor of Australia. He has Spanish roots and trains a lot in Spain, but you wouldn’t call him a primer. He won four of his ATP titles on hard court and another on grass. The tennis players are almost the same age – De Minor is only four months younger than the Russian. Curiously, Alex won both of his previous two face-offs at the adult level. But all were on hard – in Washington and in Milan-U21 – 2018.

The match started disastrously for Rublev. The Russian was nervous, not hitting the court, angry with himself and immediately lost two games of his own – 0:4. But then the situation became even. Andrey got his serve going, but still the set was lost – 2:6 in 32 minutes. We must give credit to Rublev – after such a fiasco in the opening set he surprisingly pulled himself together, didn’t let his emotions run wild and started to collect points systematically. In almost the same 33 minutes he crushed his opponent in the second set – 6:1. But the Russian didn’t stop there, he continued to press the Australian with his pace and powerful shots in the corners. The Aussie player went on the defensive, but he could not save his chances. 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 in two hours and four minutes. Rublev’s comeback was amazing against the backdrop of all the other losses in Monaco!

That’s how last year’s Monte Carlo finalist Andrei Rublev started his points defense with a comeback. He’ll play Italy’s Yannick Sinner in the third round on Thursday.