Russian tennis player Andrei Rublev won the fifth tournament of the season.
He won his next title at the competition in Vienna, which had the ATP 500 category. This success allowed the 23-year-old player to qualify for the first time in his career for the Final Tournament, which will be held in London.
After the end of the break associated with the coronavirus pandemic, Rublev gained a fantastic shape, which he still retains.
He reached the quarterfinals of the US and French Opens, won tournaments in Hamburg and St. Petersburg, and also climbed to eighth place in the world rankings.
In Vienna, the Russian could challenge the first racket of the world to Novak Djokovic and outstrip him in the number of titles per season - he won two more at the beginning of the year in Doha and Adelaide.
It was not easy to do this, since a very decent composition of participants gathered in the capital of Austria.
In addition to Djokovic, the host of the competition, Dominic Tim, the recent Roland Garros rival Stefanos Tsitsipas, and compatriot Daniil Medvedev, whose current season is not as great as the last one, represented the danger for Rublev.
However, the path to the final turned out to be much easier than one could imagine.
Rublev confidently started with a victory over the Slovak Norbert Gombos, after which the young talent from Italy Yannick Sinner passed without a fight.
They played only three games, after which the 19-year-old tennis player withdrew due to injury.
Not everything was in order with health and the first serious opponent of Rublev, who became the third number in the world ranking Dominic Tim.
The Russian won the first set in a tie-break, after which he had no problems in the second.
After the defeat, Tim withdrew from the Masters in Paris due to a foot injury.
Rublev also went to the final without a fight: the next opponent, Kevin Anderson from South Africa, finished playing when the Russian had two games left to win.
Although Rublev was largely lucky with the advancement on the grid, he himself not only did not give a single set, but also never missed his serve.
Rublev's rival in the final was a tennis player who shouldn't have played in Vienna at all.
The 42nd racket of the world Lorenzo Sonego from Italy participated in the qualification and lost, but still entered the main draw as a lucky loser.
He took full advantage of his chance and presented the main sensation of the tournament - he beat Novak Djokovic, with a crushing score of 6: 2, 6: 1.
Throughout his career, the Serb has never lost, winning less than four games.
After defeating Briton Dan Evans, Sonego reached the final of the ATP tournament for the second time in his career.
In the decisive match, Rublev outlined his advantage early enough, earning a break in the fifth game.
Sonego tried to prevent the Russian from filing for the set, and became the second tennis player after Tim to earn a break point.
However, Rublev took control of the situation and brought the set to victory.
In the second game, the struggle was more stubborn, but still, when the score was 4: 4, Rublev again took the opponent's serve - and this was enough for the final success.
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@ AndreyRublev97 |
@ ErsteBankOpenpic.twitter.com / TuVQPfYcMh
- ATP Tour (@atptour) November 1, 2020
“This tournament is special for me: my grandmother is from Austria, so Austrian blood also flows in my veins.
This victory is really very important for me, ”said Rublev after his fifth victory this season.
For the entire tournament in Vienna, the Russian has never lost a game on his serve.
The last time Australian Alex de Minor managed to do this in Atlanta last year.
Rublev not only beat Djokovic in titles for the season, but also caught up with him in the number of matches won: they both left the court as winners 39 times.
At the same time, the Russian has not lost over the last 15 fights.
✅ 19 wins & 1 loss in his last 20 matches.
✅ 15 straight wins at ATP500 level
✅ 3 ATP500 titles this season
What a season this is from @ AndreyRublev97 😅 pic.twitter.com/wRDZvfZYQR
- ATP Tour (@atptour) November 1, 2020
A nice bonus to the next title and prize money, which amounted to more than € 105,000, was a ticket to the Final Tournament of the Year.
Rublev became only the fifth Russian in history, who entered the top eight at the end of the season.
Before him, this was achieved by Evgeny Kafelnikov, Marat Safin, Nikolay Davydenko and Daniil Medvedev.
The latter will also go to London to close the current season.
The two Russians have not played in the ATP Tour Finals since 2000.
By the way, half of the participants in the Final Tournament of the Year will be Russian-speaking: in addition to Rublev and Medvedev, Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev, representing Germany, speak the same language.