Rublev Extends Win Streak To 10 Matches
Andrey Rublev is on a searing 10-match winning streak after defeating Dominik Koepfer 7-5, 6-4 Sunday in a second-round match at the BNP Paribas Open. Only Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal (16-0) has been better in early 2022.
Rublev hit 32 winners – 18 from the forehand side – and won 11 of 15 points at net, where he had a decided advantage over Koepfer.
The 24-year-old, seeded No. 7, started slowly in his first Indian Wells match and found himself trailing 2-4. The turning point was a spectacular 28-stroke rally, won with a forehand winner that delivered Rublev his fifth break point. Koepfer’s double-fault put them back on serve and Rublev broke again at 5-all to take control of the set.
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Rublev broke Koepfer in the ninth game of the second set and survived three break points at 5-4, stroking an unreturnable serve to close it out. Koepfer, No. 51 in the ATP Rankings, is 2-3 to begin the year.
Rublev is now 15-2 for the season, coming off titles in Dubai and Marseille. In a span of two terrific weeks, he doubled last year’s total of one, collected in Rotterdam. The World No. 7 will next face Frances Tiafoe after the American moved past countryman Brandon Nakashima 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 30 minutes.
With his triumph, the 28th seed, who is making his sixth appearance at the ATP Masters 1000, has equalled his best performance in the California desert, after he also reached the third round last season.
World No. 23 John Isner evened his career head-to-head with Sam Querrey at 5-all with a 7-6(6), 7-6(3) second-round victory. Isner’s third-round opponent will be Diego Schwartzman, after the Argentine came through his first Tour meeting with rising Finnish talent Emil Ruusuvuori. The World No. 14 was pushed the distance on Stadium 5, fighting to a 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 win against the World No. 70.
Qualifier Jaume Munar caused a shock as he beat fellow Spaniard and 16th seed Pablo Carreno Busta 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(4). The 24-year-old Munar lost to Carreno Busta in his only tour-level final in Marbella in 2021 but avenged that defeat to set a third-round clash with home favourite Taylor Fritz.
There were also wins for 2021 semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov, who beat Jordan Thompson 7-6(3), 6-2, and 11th seed Hubert Hurkacz, who battled past Oscar Otte 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. In another early match, Steve Johnson upset No. 22 seed Aslan Karatsev 7-6 (5), 6-4.