Andrey Rublev continued his impressive form, beating Casper Ruud of Norway 6-3, 7-5 to book a place in his first ATP Masters 1000 final on Saturday. The impressive semifinal victory came just a day after beating 11-time former champion Rafael Nadal. He will now play fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas for the Monte Carlo Masters title. Tsitsipas brushed aside Daniel Evans, who had knocked out World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo third round, 6-2, 6-1 in 69 minutes.
Rublev was unable to hide his excitement of being in the final after getting past Ruud in 80 minutes at the Monte Carlo Country Club. “It is an amazing feeling. It is my first [ATP Masters 1000] final, so I am really happy,” Rublev said in his post-match interview. “We will see what is going to happen [in the final]. I will try to do my best.”
Earlier, the Russian player took a bit of time to get into the rhythm. Once he got settled, Rublev went on a rampage to seal the first set in just 32 minutes. Ruud took advantage of a drop in intensity from the Russian to win four straight games to gain a 4-2 advantage in the second set.
But Rublev fought back and levelled the scores soon. He continued the impressive form to break Ruud for a 6-5 lead. The Russian player made no mistake in sealing the game from his next service game.
“Casper is a really amazing player, especially on clay,” Rublev said. “Since the beginning he put a really high intensity [on the court] and was really tough. I knew that I needed to raise my level if I wanted to fight against him, because if I [did] not raise the level I [would] lose for sure.”
“He started [by going] up with the break and I felt like I needed to raise my level, raise my speed [and] hit harder. Otherwise, I had no chance. I started to do it and then I started to play better and he started to miss a bit more. I think that was the key.”