Playing a very aggressive brand of tennis, Rublev cemented his grip on sixth place in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race to Turin, as he looks to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals For the third year in a row.
Rublev, who has now won eight straight sets against 2020 US Open Champion, he battled his inner demons after being broken when trying to send the first set. The 24-year-old, who has spoken candidly about the difficulties in controlling his frustrations on the field, exploded in fury after dropping his serve but regained his composure to break his serve in the next game to close out the set.
“When I was winning 4-1 with a 5-1 point break, it seemed like the match was going my way, then I’m 5-4 with his serve,” Rublev said. “It’s not easy to accept, but I was lucky to have played a really good game and Dominic helped me out a little bit.
“Then I felt more confident and was able to win two sets, and that was the most important thing. I played well this week and I will try to show my best tennis of the week tomorrow.”
The former junior world number one attacked Thiem’s first and second serve to grab momentum early on points and also broke Thiem in the final match of the match to claim victory. He earned 33 percent of the return points for the first service and 53 percent of the return points for the second. He also seemed comfortable moving forward to put pressure on his opponent.
Rublev is chasing his fourth title this year, having already won in Belgrade, Dubai and Marseille. In the final on Sunday, he will meet an American Sebastian Kordawho made it to his first final of the year with a 7-6 (2), 6-3 victory Arthur Rinderknech.
Thiem, who would have returned to the top 100 if he had defeated Rublev, continues to lay the foundation for a successful 2023 season after a sporadic start until 2022, when he lost his first six Tour matches.
This week in Gijon, the former world number three hit his signature one-handed power up, showing no signs of lingering problems in his right wrist after a tear in June 2021 forced him to miss the second half of the 2021 season. He’s played 28 matches at this tour level The season is a record 14-14 and is 132 on the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.
Reaching his first final in nearly 18 months, Korda was more solid on serve than his quarter-final win in three sets. Britain’s Andy MurrayHe offered 14 break points and lost his serve four times. Today he fired eight aces and saved all three of the confrontation break points, including two when he served for the first set.
Korda, 22, notched his 30th match win this year and this week has climbed 11 places to 36th in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, well below his career 30th. Final level in May last year when he won his first ATP Tour title in the ATP 250 claycourt event in Parma.
“It was a really good match playing two games here and there. I am very happy and very excited for tomorrow,” Korda said. “It will be very difficult, but I am ready to go.”
Rinderknech offered stiff resistance in the first set. But after a stressful week – he entered the tournament after losing his grandmother and saving nine match points to deny him. Pablo Carreno Posta 18-16 in the third set tiebreak on Friday – he couldn’t make a comeback in the second set.
Did you know?
with Sebastian Korda And the JJ Wolf The US won the semi-finals in Gijon and Florence on Saturday, and has produced 10 different contestants on the ATP Tour this season: Chrissy, Fritz, Opelka (3 finals), Proxby, Tiafoe (2 finals), Jiron, Isner, Nakashima. Korda, Wolf.