Andrey Rublev wanted simply 68 minutes to assert his first win of the European clay swing on Wednesday on the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.
The sixth seed ripped 11 forehand winners in his 6-3, 6-2 win in opposition to Italian qualifier Salvatore Caruso on Court docket Rainier III. Rublev is thru to the third spherical within the Principality for the primary time.
“I’m pleased with my recreation for the primary match of the clay season,” stated Rublev in his post-match interview. “I used to be just a little bit tight as a result of clearly I didn’t practise rather a lot on clay and I didn’t play matches earlier than.
“Caruso was enjoying [from] qualifying, so he [had got] used to the clay already and on clay he’s actually harmful. I’m actually completely happy that I may win in straight units.”
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Rublev’s win in opposition to Caruso extends his tour-leading wins whole this 12 months to 21 matches (21-4). Final 12 months’s Roland Garros quarter-finalist is aiming to seize his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title this week.
MOST MATCH WINS IN 2021 ATP TOUR SEASON
The World No. 8 established management of the match from the primary ball. Rublev used his forehand all through the match to dictate play from the baseline and push Caruso into defensive positions. The eight-time ATP Tour titlist closed the match with a cross-court forehand winner.
Graphic courtesy Hawk-Eye Improvements/ATP Media
Rublev will meet ninth seed Roberto Bautista Agut or Tommy Paul for a spot within the quarter-finals. The 23-year-old owns a 2-3 ATP Head2Head document in opposition to Bautista Agut, however he gained the pair’s solely earlier encounter on clay in final 12 months’s Hamburg European Open quarter-finals. Rublev is unbeaten in two matches in opposition to Paul.
Did You Know?
Two years in the past, ranked No. 90 within the FedEx ATP Rankings, Rublev held a 6-4, 4-1 lead in opposition to eventual champion Fabio Fognini earlier than falling in three units.