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Rublev revels in 'fairytale' Masters win

China Daily | Updated: 2023-04-18 09:46
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Andrey Rublev reacts to winning the Monte Carlo Masters. AP

Russian overjoyed after securing biggest win of career in Monte Carlo

MONTE CARLO — Andrey Rublev said winning his first Masters 1000 trophy in Monte Carlo on Sunday was like a "fairytale" after the Russian battled past Denmark's Holger Rune in three sets.

The fifth seed came from 4-1 down in the deciding set to defeat sixth-seeded teenager Rune 5-7, 6-2,7-5 after one hour and 34 minutes on the red clay of Court Rainier III.

The 25-year-old achieved the biggest win of his career after losing Masters finals in Monte Carlo and Cincinnati, both in 2021, to boost his confidence heading into next month's French Open on clay.

"It's a great feeling. Today I handled my emotions really well," said Rublev. "After struggling so much, so many times, losing in the finals, semifinals, losing even earlier, to win my first 1000 Masters and finally I did it.

"To win a match like this, losing 4-1, love-30, break point for 5-1, and to be able to come back and to win is like a fairytale today," said the world No 6, who blasted down 33 winners on the way to his 13th career title.

"I remember the previous finals and when I was losing I thought I'd have no chance and mentally I was going down.

"But today I thought, 'Just believe until the end', and this is what I was trying to do in the third set, hoping I would have an extra chance to come back and what a way to do it."

Deprived of his national flag due to the Ukraine conflict, the player from Moscow thanked spectators for their support.

"Coming from the country where I come from, to receive such international support, it is enormous," he said.

Big hitters

Rune was aiming for his second Masters 1000 title after defeating five top-10 players en route to the title in Paris last year.

But the 19-year-old conceded he did not have enough time to recover from his thrilling three-set triumph over Italy's Jannik Sinner on Saturday.

"I didn't have any more in me," he said.

"I was definitely in control in the third set and also I would say mostly in the first set as well but didn't manage to close it out.

"Disappointing, but the most important tournament of the clay season is the French Open, so if I can prepare myself as best as possible for that one, that's what matters."

The two players had previously played each other twice — the Dane won last year at the Masters 1000 in Paris in the quarterfinals before defeating Novak Djokovic in the final.

In January, it was Rublev who won their Australian Open clash after saving match points in the last 16.

Rafael Nadal, an 11-time winner in Monte Carlo, and Carlos Alcaraz missed this key French Open warm-up with injuries while top seed Djokovic was knocked out in the last 16.


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