Doubles Friends To Singles Foes, Rublev Tops Khachanov In Halle
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.
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.