Red-Hot Rublev’s Roll Continues Into Vienna Final

Russian to play for an ATP Tour-leading fifth title of 2020

The Andrey Rublev train is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

The red-hot Russian was leading Kevin Anderson 6-4, 4-1 on Saturday when the two-time Grand Slam finalist retired due to a right leg injury. Rublev advanced to the Erste Bank Open final and he has now won 18 of his past 19 matches. The World No. 8 will play for an ATP Tour-leading fifth title of the season in Vienna.

“I don’t know why it’s going so well. I have such an amazing team, such amazing friends around me that always support me and probably that’s why I’m playing so good,” Rublev said in his on-court interview. “I came here thinking that I have nothing to lose. I already did a really great season, so I came here to enjoy, to do my best, to fight for every point, every match, and now here I am in the final. I want to keep thinking in the same way and we’ll see what’s going to happen tomorrow.”

The fifth seed, who eliminated defending champion Dominic Thiem in the quarter-finals, has not dropped a set this week, nor has he lost any of his 28 service games. Rublev has won two ATP 500 titles since the ATP Tour restarted in August and he will play Daniel Evans or Lorenzo Sonego for a third.

“I was not even thinking about it,” Rublev said. “I’m serving really well this week, so we’ll see. You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow.”

Anderson struggled with his second serve early, hitting double faults on his first three second-serve points. The South African, who upset Daniil Medvedev in the quarter-finals, competed well from the baseline to hang with Rublev. But on the Russian’s third set point in the first set, Anderson hit his fifth double fault to give the Russian the set.

After one game in the second set, Anderson took an injury timeout to have his upper right leg examined. Immediately following that he got broken, missing a forehand approach shot into the net. At 4-1, Anderson decided he could not continue. This was his first ATP Tour semi-final since winning January 2019 when he triumphed in Pune.

Two spots remain in the singles field at the Nitto ATP Finals, and Rublev is next in line to qualify. The Russian is pushing for his first berth into the season finale, which will take place from 15-22 November at The O2 in London.

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