Rublev frustre Davidovich Fokina
He can still dream of a double in Dubai. But Andrey Rublev almost packed up in the second round of the Emirati ATP 500 on Wednesday. Completely dominated by the Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, 29th player in the world, in the first part of his match, the defending champion had to save five match points in a row in the tie-break of the second set before winning in three sets (1-6, 7-6, 7-6) and 2h25 of play. The Russian will face Botic van de Zandschulp or Mikael Ymer in the quarter-finals.
Medvedev – Bublik EN DIRECT
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Alejandro Davidovich Fokina may have nightmares. At 6 points to 1 in this famous decisive game of the second act, he surely saw himself as the winner. But in the space of a few seconds, everything slipped away from him. Andrey Rublev first hit two service winners, then the Spaniard committed two consecutive backhand faults, a blow on which he had however been rather intractable until then. And a new high-performance first ball sequence followed by a winning forehand from the Russian allowed him to clear a 5th match point. Completely confused, Davidovich even offered the set on a double fault, thus conceding seven consecutive points.
This major turning point, however, did not cause the Spaniard to collapse who, after a long break in the locker room, resumed the fight, notably dismissing the only two opposing break points at 2-2 in the final act. Because Rublev will therefore have managed to get by in this part without seizing the service of Davidovich Fokina and by scoring three points less in all, enough to further amplify the frustration of the person concerned. In the tie-break again, the Russian was the strongest to close the deal.
Auger-Aliassime is already stopping
His start to the season has not lived up to his expectations. After having suffered Daniil Medvedev’s law twice in the last two weeks on the circuit – in the quarter-finals in Rotterdam and in the semi-finals in Doha -, Félix Auger-Aliassime will therefore not even see the quarter-finals in Dubai. The Canadian lost in two sets (7-6, 6-4) and almost two hours (1h55 precisely) against a Lorenzo Sonego certainly very inspired this Wednesday.
The game was played on details, especially in a first set where the servers ruled. In the decisive game, “F2A” thus misjudged an opposing ball, asking for the verification of the “hawk-eye” which revealed that the latter had hit the line. This error allowed Sonego to get two set points at 6 points to 4 and to take the lead in stride. Helping confidence, the Italian raised his level, getting the first break point of the game at 1-1 in the second act. If Auger-Aliassime averted the danger, it was only a postponement for Sonego who made the difference at 3-3 on his 3rd opportunity of the match. This only break of the match was enough for him to win a few games later.
Zverev finds colors
Later in the day, Alexander Zverev confirmed that he was on the right path to return to his best level. Faller of Jiri Lehecka, one of the men in form at the start of the season, in the 1st round, the Olympic champion did well on Wednesday against the Australian Christopher O’Connell, 92nd player in the world. He won in two well-controlled sets (7-5, 6-4) and 1h19 of play. In the quarter-finals, he will challenge Lorenzo Sonego, who defeated Félix Auger-Aliassime (7-6, 6-4).
Increasingly mobile and very efficient in the service (76% of firsts and 90% of success behind!), Zverev finds solid foundations over the tournaments. He did not concede a single break point in this second round, managing to break each time in key moments at the end of the set, at 5-5 in the first and 4-4 in the second.
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