Rublev Moves Into Halle Semi-finals

Russian star to face Basilashvili on Saturday

Andrey Rublev raised his game when he needed to on Friday to reach the NOVENTI OPEN semi-finals.

The fourth-seeded Russian improved to 28-2 at ATP 500 tournaments since the ATP Tour resumed from the COVID-19 suspension in August 2020 with a 7-6(4), 6-2 victory over 2011 champion Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany in 81 minutes.

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“I am happy with my performance to reach the semi-finals for the first time,” said Rublev, who hit 29 winners to book a place in his sixth ATP Tour semi-final of the year. “The first set was really tough. He was 3/0 up in the tie-break and I came back, which was the key. After the first set, I think he mentally went down and I was pumped up. I hit a couple of good returns in the first game of the second set.”

Rublev, currently at a career-high No. 7 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, will next meet Georgian qualifier Nikoloz Basilashvili. Rublev is 2-2 versus Basilashvili in their ATP Head2Head series. 

Wild card Kohlschreiber did very little wrong in a high-quality first set at the OWL Arena in Halle, but let slip a 3/0 lead in the tie-break. From that point, Rublev won 16 of the next 21 points, securing the 49-minute opener with a fine backhand slice winner down the line, and took a 2-0 lead in the second set.

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Rublev began to read Kohlschreiber’s serve and broke with a backhand winner for 5-2 in the second set. The 23-year-old soon closed out his 32nd match win of the season (32-9 record), which includes the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament crown (d. Fucsovics) in March. He also finished as runner-up in his first ATP Masters 1000 final in April at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters (l. to Tsitsipas).

Kohlschreiber, 37, was attempting to reach an ATP Tour semi-final for the first time since the 2019 ASB Classic in Auckland (l. to Sandgren).

Nikoloz Basilashvili defeated Lloyd Harris 6-4, 7-6(5) in one hour and 50 minutes to advance to the semi-finals on Friday. The 29-year-old, who is currently No. 30 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, came back from a break down at 4-5 in the second set and won 78 per cent (38/49) of his first-service points as he moved to 19-15 for the season.

The Georgian has previously won three titles in Germany, claiming the Hamburg European Open crown in 2018 and 2019, and he lifted the trophy at the BMW Open in Munich (d. Struff) in May.

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