The Rublev Curse and the invincible Mannarino
In recent years, Russian tennis players rarely achieved serious success in the Kremlin Cup. If women regularly pleased domestic fans with titles, then men were far from decisive matches. This was largely due to the protracted crisis in Russian men's tennis.
But a year ago, the situation was finally changed by Karen Khachanov. In the final, he beat Adrian Mannarino and became the first domestic winner of the Kremlin Cup in nine years. And a year later, Andrei Rublev reached the decisive confrontation, and Mannarino again became his opponent, who this time was determined to get even for last year’s failure.
Let Rublev at the tournament was seeded under the sixth number, his access to the finals was still a surprise. The fact is that in the previous five times, he invariably took off in the first round. And before the start of the next Kremlin Cup, a Muscovite admitted that he no longer posed any tasks.
The tournament began for Andrei is really not easy. Rublev spent all possible six sets on the modest Alexander Bublik and Yegor Gerasimov, but later on he got the go and confidently dealt with the much more dangerous Nikolai Miloevich and the third seeded Marina Chilich.
In turn, Mannarino achieved victories in Moscow without much effort. Before the finals, he did not give a set to his rivals. At the same time, Adrian had never met Rublev before. But this time Andrei was determined to make himself a present for his 22nd birthday, which came just at the final.
The game of "one gate" and the confusion of the Frenchman
And already in the first game, the Russian showed a serious attitude. He managed to immediately make a break, and then take his serve. This moment, in fact, decided the fate of the party. Rublev looked much stronger than the opponent, although sometimes he still did not fully control his emotions and frustrate simple strokes.
Nevertheless, the fight in this match did not work. Perhaps the sixth game of the first set was the most dangerous for the domestic tennis player. Rublev led 3: 2 and on his serve allowed the opponent to earn the first and last break point. Fortunately, the Frenchman did not realize it. Then the Russian calmly kept his pitch, and in the decisive game he achieved success - 6: 4.
Mannarino then actually gave up. Especially Rublev fantastically started the second game and immediately made a break, without giving an opponent a point. Then the Muscovite took to zero and his pitch. Andrew caught a real courage. The tennis player, driven forward by the stands, began to get literally everything: aces, tricky punches in opposition to the opponent, incredible salvations.
It was painful to look at Adrian at this moment, because he simply did not understand what was happening and did not know what to do.
Rublev went forward, noticing anything, and took game after game. He trembled only when the score was 5-0, when he submitted for the match and led 40-0. At this moment, the birthday man made two consecutive double mistakes. The stands fell silent, and soon exploded in delight. Rublev on his birthday won the tournament and fulfilled his childhood dream.
“This cannot be described in words”
Andrei could hardly restrain his tears, and immediately a journalist came up to him, who congratulated the tennis player on his victory and once again reminded him of the holiday. Since the conversation was broadcast on the screens, all the fans who heard it began to chant “Happy Birthday” and did not stop for a minute.
“This can not be described in words, because the Kremlin Cup went through all my childhood. Happiness is even simple to go to court here, and to win on your birthday is super, ”the Match TV triumphant quotes.
The current title was for Andrey only the second in singles. He won the first one back in 2017 in Umag. It is noteworthy that Mannarino, not only for the second time in a row, was defeated in the Kremlin Cup final, but also lost the eighth final in his career with only one victory in decisive matches.
Andrey spent only an hour and two minutes on the final match. He completed seven aces against two at the opponent and realized four out of five break points.
Offensive defeat Pavlyuchenkova
Russian tennis players could well have made a “golden double” at the Kremlin Cup, as it was a year ago, when Khachanov and Daria Kasatkina won synchronized victories. Unfortunately, the initiative of Rublev failed to support Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. She reached the final of the home tournament for the third time in her career, but lost to the tenth racket of the planet Belinda Bencic.
Moreover, the first set Pavlyuchenkova left behind thanks to two breaks, but the second and third installment simply failed. It was as if Anastasia had been replaced, and it was not difficult for the Swiss tennis player to finish off the Russian woman - 6: 1, 6: 1. After the match, Anastasia explained the failure with fatigue.
“I had a real feeling that I didn’t have enough energy, this charge that I had in previous matches to turn the tide of the confrontation. Benchich began to play more actively, everything worked out for her, and I needed to break something in her game, in this pressure, but today, unfortunately, I couldn’t do it, ”Pavlyuchenkova quotes“ Championship ”.