Rublev Advances To Roland Garros QFs After Sinner Retires
Andrey Rublev advanced to his second Roland Garros quarter-final on Monday after his fourth-round opponent, Jannik Sinner, retired in the third set of their match due to an apparent left knee injury.
Sinner controlled play early on from the baseline, taking a 6-1 lead. But as the second set wore on the Italian increasingly struggled with his movement — his left knee was taped — and Rublev was able to seize the momentum. After the seventh seed took a 1-6, 6-4, 2-0 lead, Sinner retired.
Rublev will next play second seed Daniil Medvedev or 20th seed Marin Cilic. A four-time major quarter-finalist, the 24-year-old will try to reach his first Grand Slam semi-final.
Sinner entered their fourth-round clash with a 2-0 ATP Head2Head series lead, although his first win came by retirement after just three games in Vienna two years ago. But the 2019 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals champion, who defeated Rublev on clay in straight sets in Barcelona last year, made another quick start.
Rublev is used to dictating play with his powerful groundstrokes, but Sinner did not allow him to get into those strong positions by beating him to the first big strike in the rally, especially on his second-serve return.
Sinner won 80 per cent of his second-serve return points in the first set and did well to neutralise rallies whenever Rublev did manage to take a crack at the ball. But once the Italian's movement slowed, especially as he tried to push off and move towards his forehand side, the match turned.
Sinner, who also reached the Roland Garros quarter-finals in 2020, was trying to advance to the last eight for the second consecutive major after also doing so at this year's Australian Open.