Rublev Roars Past Djere At Roland Garros
The seventh seed made a good start on Sunday when he defeated Laslo Djere 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the second round. The 25-year-old hit 37 winners to move on after two hours and 32 minutes.
"I think I started normal and Laslo didn't start really well. I was able to win quite easy [the] first set and then the second set I think I was too calm," Rublev said. "I was very relaxed, without energy. In the end, the game was more or less equal [until] the moment when he took a medical break and he played a good game. There was the set.
"Then in the third set when I lost my serve I tried to, I don't know, bring back the energy. I was trying to move to pushing myself. I was little by little getting better and better, and in the end, I was able to turn around the match."
Rublev appeared in difficulty when Djere moved ahead by a service break in the third set, level at one set apiece. But the 13-time ATP Tour titlist buckled down from there to avoid a second first-round exit at the clay-court major in three years.
His confidence is as high as ever. Earlier this clay swing, Rublev captured his first ATP Masters 1000 title in Monte-Carlo and reached the final at the ATP 250 event in Banja Luka.
Djere was a tricky opening opponent, as the Serbian won an ATP 500 on clay in 2019 at Rio de Janeiro. But Rublev limited his unforced errors to just 24, which proved critical.
The seventh seed will not play a seeded opponent until at least the fourth round. That is because 30th seed Ben Shelton, his projected third-round opponent, fell in the first round on Sunday.
Lorenzo Sonego defeated the American 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 on Court 13. The Italian avenged a three-set loss to Shelton last year in Cincinnati. He took advantage of 49 unforced errors from the lefty to move on after two hours and 53 minutes.