© NOVENTI OPEN/Mathias Schulz

Fourth seed Andrey Rublev beat his doubles partner, Karen Khachanov, on Tuesday in Halle.

Doubles Friends To Singles Foes, Rublev Tops Khachanov In Halle

Russian star to face Thompson in second round

Less than 24 hours after they played together on a doubles court, Andrey Rublev got the better of his good friend Karen Khachanov on a singles court at the NOVENTI OPEN.

Fourth seed Rublev recorded his 30th match win of the season on Tuesday by overcoming the 2017 Halle semi-finalist 6-3, 7-6(5) in 79 minutes for a second-round meeting against Australia’s Jordan Thompson.

“I was waiting for this match to feel this tension,” said Rublev. “I needed to feel the pressure and I am happy with my performance today in my first match on grass.”

Rublev, who hit 16 of his 29 winners off his forehand wing, has reached the quarter-finals (or better) in eight tournaments this season. The 23-year-old captured his eighth ATP Tour title in March at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament (d. Fucsovics) and finished runner-up at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters (l. to Tsitsipas) in April.

How To Watch

Rublev was dialled in from the start, having lost to Khachanov in their two previous ATP Head2Head meetings — including in the 2017 Halle quarter-finals. Rublev won the first three games, and 12 of the first 14 points. He completed the 31-minute opener when Khachanov hit a backhand long, but the second set was more competitive.

Khachanov saved two break points from 15/40 at 5-5, before Rublev moved clear midway through the tie-break that ended with Khachanov’s 17th unforced error.

Khachanov, 25, is now 15-13 on the season, which includes semi-final runs at the Great Ocean Road Open (l. to Sinner) and the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon (l. to Norrie).

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