Rublev In Driver’s Seat In Umag Opener
Andrey Rublev opened his bid to reclaim the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag title on Tuesday, cruising into the second round with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Robin Haase. The 21-year-old Russian improved to 4-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, with his lone loss to the Dutchman coming in last year’s Umag quarter-finals.
Rublev, a two-time Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier, won his maiden ATP Tour title here in 2017 as a lucky loser. He will look to reach his first quarter-final since February in Marseille when he next meets No. 4 seed Dusan Lajovic, the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters finalist (l. to Fognini).
Italian Paolo Lorenzi, the 2017 finalist, battled for a place in the second round. The 37-year-old Italian came back to defeat German qualifier Peter Torebko 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(3) in three hours and 10 minutes. Lorenzi next faces No. 3 seed Laslo Djere.
In an all-Italian opener, Stefano Travaglia dismissed Thomas Fabbiano 6-3, 6-2 to set a meeting with Fabio Fognini, the top seed. Fognini, currently at a career-high No. 9 in the ATP Rankings, won the Umag title in 2016.
A pair of Argentines also advanced Tuesday. Facundo Bagnis knocked out No. 7 seed Martin Klizan 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, and eighth seed Leonardo Mayer defeated Pablo Andujar 6-1, 7-5. Meanwhile, sixth-seeded Serbian Filip Krajinovic saved a set point at 5-4 in the opening set as he came back to defeat Japan's Taro Daniel 7-5, 7-6(4).