Andrey Rublev Outclasses Stefanos Tsitsipas in Straight Sets to Reach Rotterdam Open Finals

Published 03/06/2021, 10:57 AM EST
Russia’s Andrey Rublev celebrates winning the final against Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego REUTERS/Lisi Niesner


Russian World Number 8 Andrey Rublev beat a listless Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach the final of the ATP Rotterdam Open on Saturday.

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The Greek held a marginal 3-2 head-to-head lead over the Russian going into this last-four clash. However, it was the latter who bossed the early exchanges.

Andrey Rublev breaks Stefanos Tsitsipas twice to win the opening set

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The World Number 8 Russian opened up with a comfortable hold and followed it up with another in his next service game to go 2-1 up in the opening set.

Looking to seize the initiative early in the piece, Rublev brought up a breakpoint on the Tsitsipas serve in the next game and converted it to go 3-1 early.

The Greek World Number 6 recovered to hold serve in the next. Looking to draw level by getting a break back on the Russian, Tsitsipas leveled the score at 30-30 in the next and soon brought up his second breakpoint. However, Rublev pulled it back to deuce and managed to close out the game, going 4-2 up in the first set.

Desperate to claw back into the contest after conceding an early break, the Greek held serve in his next to reduce the deficit to 3-4.

Putting pressure on the Tsitsipas’ serve again, the World Number 8 ran up a 0-30 lead in the next game. The Greek leveled the score, only to concede another breakpoint moments later.

However, Tsitsipas blinked again as the Russian converted his third breakpoint to close out the game and extend his lead to 5-3. He followed up with a flawless hold to take the opening set 6-3.

Ruthless Andrey Rublev outskills Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second set

With the momentum firmly with him, Rublev opened the second set with another comfortable hold to go 1-0 up.

Looking for another early break, the Russian scored two points off the Tsitsipas serve t0 go 30-40. However, the Greek managed to close out the game to make it 1-1.

Rublev followed up his win in the opening service game with another flawless hold to 2-1 up.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 11, 2021, Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in action during his second round match against Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis REUTERS/Loren Elliott

The Greek responded with another hold in his next service game to level it up at 2-2 in the second set.

The Rublev serve seemed to be getting better and better as he ran up a 40-0 lead in the next game. However, Tsitsipas reeled off two straight points to make it 40-30 before taking the game to deuce.

The Russian again stood resilient in the face of pressure and managed to serve out the game to go 3-2 clear.

Keen on another decisive break, Rublev cranked up the heat on the Greek’s serve again to go 15-30 up in the next game. However, Tsitsipas came back well to hold and make it 3-3.

The physical toll of his grueling, epic three-set win over Karen Khachanov in the quarters on Friday seemed to be telling on the Greek as his share of errors piled up.

Andrey Rublev went from strength to strength as Stefanos Tsitsipas wilted

Nailing his serves yet again, the Russian ran up a 40-0 lead and held on to go 4-3 up.

Battling to stay in the match, the Greek held serve fairly comfortably to make it 4-4. However, Rublev responded with another hold to go 5-4 clear.

Serving to stay in the match, the Greek brought up game point. But the Russian took it to deuce. Tsitsipas, however, reeled off two straight points to close out the game and go level at 5-5.

In what was a crunch game for Tsitsipas if he had to take the contest to a deciding set, he pressed the Russian’s serve again, but the latter fought back to extend his lead to 6-5.

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Serving to take the second set to a tie-breaker, Tsitsipas managed to hold.

Rublev quickly ran up a 3-point lead in the tiebreak and pulled 4-0 clear of the Greek.

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The task seemed to get harder for Tsitsipas as the Russian extended his lead to 6-2. The Russian converted his first championship point to put the match to bed and reach his first Rotterdam final.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

861 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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