Rublev Continues Run Of Good Form
Andrey Rublev had a tremendous 2017 season, soaring from No. 156 to No. 39 in the ATP Rankings, claiming his maiden title in Umag and finishing runner-up at the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.
And after the 20-year-old Russian advanced to the Qatar ExxonMobil Open final to open his 2018 ATP World Tour season, he still has not slowed. Rublev defeated 34-year-old Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-4, 6-4 in 75 minutes to move into the second round at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier on Monday.
In the pair’s first FedEx ATP Head2Head encounter, Rublev won all but six of his first-serve points (29/35) and broke three times to claim victory. He can possibly face fellow #NextGenATP contender Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round should the 19-year-old Greek battle past home favourite Jeremy Chardy.
Another Frenchman, Benoit Paire, thrilled the home crowd by ousting defending doubles champion Mischa Zverev (w/ Alexander Zverev) by the same score, 6-4, 6-4. It was a reversal of the duo’s meeting at the 2017 US Open, when the German came out on top in a five-set thriller.
Three Frenchmen lead Tuesday’s slate on Court Patrice Dominguez with Chardy, wild card Julien Benneteau and recent Tata Open Maharashtra champion Gilles Simon featuring in the day’s first three matches, with seventh seed David Ferrer facing inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier Karen Khachanov in a popcorn match to close out play on the tournament’s centre court.