Rublev Survives Ivashka Scare In St. Petersburg
Appearing for the first time since reaching the US Open fourth round, the fifth seed claimed three straight games from 3-4 down in the third set to improve to 23-14 at tour-level this year. After avoiding a third first-round defeat in four appearances at the ATP 250 tournament, Rublev moves on to face Ricardas Berankis for a place in the last eight.
Berankis claimed 81 per cent of first-serve points (22/27) to defeat Dudi Sela 6-3, 6-0 in 62 minutes. It will be his first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting against Rublev, who defeated Roger Federer in Cincinnati and Stefanos Tsitsipas in Flushing Meadows.
St. Petersburg debutant Roberto Carballes Baena defeated 2012 champion Martin Klizan 6-2, 7-5 to advance to the second round. The 26-year-old became only the second player to defeat Klizan in 11 matches in St. Petersburg after 89 minutes, converting five of eight break points en route to victory. Carballes Baena will face US Open semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini for a spot in the quarter-finals.
Evgeny Donskoy will face top seed and fellow Russian Daniil Medvedev in the second round. The 29-year-old wild card cruised past lucky loser Matteo Viola of Italy 6-2, 6-1. Egor Gerasimov also advanced, beating fellow qualifier Lukas Rosol 7-5, 6-2 to book a meeting with seventh seed Adrian Mannarino.