Rublev Comes Out Swinging In Beijing
Khachanov, Chardy battle into second round
Russian Andrey Rublev continued his top form on Monday at the China Open in Beijing, easing into the second round with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over US Open semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov. The Bulgarian was bidding for his 300th tour-level singles win.
Rublev won 76 per cent of his first-serve points (26/34) and broke Dimitrov twice in each set to advance in 75 minutes. The 21-year-old has won 12 of his past 16 matches and is now tied 2-2 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry with Dimitrov. Next up for Rublev is sixth-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini or Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin.
Later in the day, fourth-seeded Russian Karen Khachanov recovered from 3/6 down in the second-set tie-break to complete a 6-2, 7-6(7) victory over Uruguayan qualifier Pablo Cuevas in one hour and 32 minutes. Cuevas could not convert a fourth set point at 7/6 in the tie-break.
Khachanov will now challenge France’s Jeremy Chardy, who came through a hard-fought 6-7(7), 6-3, 7-6(4) win over Marco Cecchinato of Italy in two hours and 22 minutes. Chardy missed out on two set points at 6/4 in the first-set tie-break.