Andrey Rublev advanced to the quarterfinals of the Noventi Open for the second time by defeating Jordan Thompson of Australia 6-4, 6-4 in 86 minutes on Wednesday. “I just want to keep going match-by-match and I’m happy to be through to the quarter-finals for the second time,” said Rublev. “Winning two matches against tough players [also Karen Khachanov in the first round] is a positive and I want to get more confidence on the surface.”
The 23-year-old Russian continued his recent fine streak. He is now 27-2 at ATP 500 tournaments since the ATP Tour resumed in August 2020. Rublev, who advanced to his first ATP Masters 1000 final in April at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, will next take on 2011 champion and German wild card Philipp Kohlschreiber at the OWL Arena in Halle.
After a neck-to-neck battle in the early stages, Rublev broke clear at 2-2 in the first set when Thompson hit a backhand into the net. The Russian sealed the 42-minute opener without much difficulty after that point. World No. 7 Rublev took a 2-0 lead in the second set, but Thompson came back immediately. However, the 23-year-old fought back impressively to seal the set.
Meanwhile, 37-year-old Kohlschreiber secured a place in his first ATP Tour quarterfinal in more than two years. He secured a 6-4, 7-6 victory over Corentin Moutet of France in one hour and 47 minutes.
Third seed Alexander Zverev needed three sets to survive a tricky opening test against fellow German Dominik Koepfer. He won the match 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 on Tuesday to enter the second round in Halle.
After reaching his first Roland Garros semifinal on Friday, Zverev had to make a quick turnaround. He completed a good clay-court season, which included winning the Mutua Madrid Open in May. After reaching two finals in Halle in 2016 and 2017, the German is looking for his first trophy on grass. He owns 15 trophies on clay and hard courts.
“I didn’t feel well on the grass yet. This is my third day on it, but for a good reason because I played pretty well in Paris,” Zverev said in an on-court interview. “There is still a lot of work ahead of me, but I’m definitely happy to get the win.”
Denis Shapovalov overcame a difficult challenge as he served his way into the second round at the cinch Championships. The second seed saved four set points between the two sets, but he edged past Australian qualifier Aleksandar Vukic 7-6, 7-6 behind 20 aces.
“Definitely not an easy, breezy match,” Shapovalov said in his on-court interview. “Super happy to be back here and get the win. I’ve got so many great memories over here at Queen’s. It’s so nice to see you fans back out here and I really appreciated the support today.
“Any time of the grass-court season, it’s super tough to get a rhythm, so it’s very important to serve big. I think we both just served amazing today. I feel obviously very lucky to win this match today. It could have gone either way, so I’m very, very proud of myself.”