Rublev Reaches Another ATP 500 Milestone In Dubai
The World No. 8 dropped just five points behind his first serve (27/32) to record his 14th win from 16 matches this season. With his 21st consecutive win at ATP 500 events, Rublev tied Andy Murray for the second-longest winning streak at the tournament level (since 2009). The only player to own a longer run of ATP 500 victories is Roger Federer (28).
“There is no secret [to my streak]. It just happened… I was not focused on this. It just happened that I did good in these [ATP 500] weeks and I am really happy,” said Rublev. “We will see what is going to happen. Until [the media] started to write that I won 17 matches, 18 matches, 19 matches, I was not even realising that I did this. I am realising it now… I am really happy that it happened to me. I am really happy that I achieved something that Andy did, because it is not easy.”
Rublev is chasing his fifth consecutive ATP 500 title this week. Two weeks ago, the 23-year-old defeated Marton Fucsovics to win the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam. Rublev also lifted titles at his final three ATP 500 tournament appearances of 2020 in Hamburg, St. Petersburg and Vienna.
The eight-time ATP Tour titlist earned a single break in each set to book his place in the third round. Rublev fired a backhand winner up the line and took advantage of double faults to break in the first game of the match. The Moscow native stepped inside the baseline and dictated rallies with his forehand to make the crucial breakthrough at 3-3 in the second set.
“It was definitely a tough match. It was my first match here and Emil played through qualifying and won a first-round [match],” said Rublev. “He was used to the conditions already and it was not an easy match. It was close, especially in some moments in the second set. I am really with the way I played today. I played quite a good match and I am happy to be in the third round.”
Rublev will meet 15th seed Taylor Fritz in the third round. The American gained revenge for his semi-final loss to Nikoloz Basilashvili at last week's Qatar ExxonMobil Open with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) victory on Court 1.
The Hungarian rallied from a set down to defeat sixth seed Pablo Carreno Busta 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-2. Fucsovics, who owns an 11-3 record in 2021, saved four of the five break points he faced en route to victory.