Rublev Powers Into Halle Quarter-finals
“I just want to keep going match-by-match and I’m happy to be through to the quarter-finals for the second time,” said Rublev, who struck 20 winners past Thompson. “Winning two matches against tough players [also Karen Khachanov in the first round] is a positive and I want to get more confidence on the surface.”
The 23-year-old Russian is now 27-2 at ATP 500 tournaments since the ATP Tour resumed in August 2020, including three titles last year at the Hamburg European Open (d. Tsitsipas), the St. Petersburg Open (d. Coric) and the Erste Bank Open in Vienna (d. Sonego), plus one trophy in 2021 at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam (d. Fucsovics).
Rublev, who helped Russia capture the ATP Cup crown in February and advanced to his first ATP Masters 1000 final in April at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters (l. to Tsitsipas), will next play 2011 champion and German wild card Philipp Kohlschreiber at the OWL Arena in Halle.
Rublev was at times frustrated by Thompson’s shot variation in the early stages, but broke clear at 2-2 in the first set when the World No. 43 hit a backhand into the net. Rublev sealed the 42-minute opener with a backhand slice down the line that Thompson couldn’t return cleanly.
World No. 7 Rublev took a 2-0 lead in the second set, but was immediately pinned back. He returned well on Thompson’s serve in the seventh game and went on to complete a strong service performance — winning 41 of 59 service points — for his 31st win in 40 matches this year.
The 37-year-old Kohlschreiber booked a place in his first ATP Tour quarter-final in more than two years, since the 2019 BMW Open in Munich (l. to Berrettini), following a 6-4, 7-6(4) victory over Corentin Moutet of France in one hour and 47 minutes.