Tuesday, 20 October, 2020

Andrey Rublev wins fourth ATP title of year, tying Novak Djokovic

Russia's Andrey Rublev in action during his quarter final match against Great Britain's Cameron Norrie in St Petersburg Russia Denis Shapovalov and Milos Raonic advance to St. Petersburg Open semi-finals
Cary Erickson | 18 October, 2020, 20:24

World No. 10 Andrey Rublev has shown a level of consistency that's been nothing short of unbelievable.

Rublev becomes the fifth Russian player to claim the title in St. Petersburg, joining Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Marat Safin, Mikhail Youzhny and last year's champion Daniil Medvedev on the list. Rublev moves to a 6-2 record in career tour finals.

Rublev in the semifinal match of the tournament in St. Petersburg defeated the Canadian Denis Shapovalov.

Two spots remain to be filled as Rublev leads Argentina's Diego Schwartzman, who now occupies the final qualification position. He's 350 points behind ninth-place Schwartzman.

'The match was unreal, in my opinion, said Rublev. "The level was high from both sides".

"Sometimes our game style looks the same, we both play aggressively and we like to hit winners, so it's going to be tough but interesting".

However, in the second set, the situation changed completely.

Andrey Rublev (RUS x3) bt Denis Shapovalov (CAN x2) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Shapovalov has a 2-1 edge on Rublev in the lifetime series.

"I started well, but then my opponent managed to raise his game", Shapovalov said. When he gave me this opportunity, I used it. Shapovalov was broken twice - once in each of the second and third sets - and it proved the difference between winning and losing.

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Zverev will also be top seed for next week's Cologne Championships tournament where he is joined in the draw by French Open semi-finalist Diego Schwartzman and Auger-Aliassime who will be fifth seed.

Eagerly awaiting him in the final will be Borna Coric, who rallied from a first-set blowout to beat Milos Raonic, 1-6, 6-1, 6-4.

Denis Shapovalov celebrates after winning his quarter-final match against Stan Wawrinka at the St. Petersburg Open on October 16, 2020. However, Coric did what no others had been able to do - namely, break Raonic's service.

The 74th-ranked Serb held off a fightback from 28-year-old Cecchinato in the second set to win through after 2hr 19min.

The first two sets were blowouts.

Coric lost the first set very quickly, and the key was the second game, which lasted more than 10 minutes. So, it came down to a winner-take-all one set match.

Rublev converted the break on the next point when a Coric backhand found the net. Throughout, Coric weathered Raonic's storm of service aces - the Canadian finished with 18 - and managed damage control quite well.

Shapovalov was strong on first serve, winning 84 per cent of points when he got it in, well ahead of Wawrinka's 72 per-cent clip. Coric outpointed his opponent 74-68. Coric is 2-5 in career finals and 0-3 since his last win in Halle in 2018.