Rublev was angry and swearing, but he couldn’t resist the 101st racket in the world! Andrew leaves Rome
Kirill Veyovich May 16, 2023, 21:15 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
The second racket from Russia could not cope with the emotions and the German qualifier Yannick Hanfman.
On Tuesday, May 16, at the ATP Masters series tournament in Rome (Italy), the fourth round matches will be played, in which the participants of the quarterfinal matches are determined. It should be noted that some games of the round of 16 were due to finish yesterday, however due to bad weather conditions, some of the games were played the next day. Only two Russians made it into the top 16: former men’s world ranking leader Daniil Medvedev, who received the third seed, and Andrei Rublev, who currently sits sixth in the men’s world ranking table.
The second racket from Russia passed his match before his compatriot (Daniil was waiting for the winner of the pair Alexander Zverev – Jeffrey-John Wolfe). In the battle to reach the quarterfinals of the Italian “thousandth”, Andrey expected a meeting with the highest status player in the world of tennis – Yannick Hanfman (101st racket in the world). At the same time, in Rome, the 31-year-old Karlsruhe native has already managed to make some noise, knocking out such strong dirty players as Nicholas Jarri and Marco Cecchinato from the fight. In particular, it is worth noting the two-game victory of the German over the famous American Taylor Fritz in the second round of the competition (the US representative is in the top ten of the ATP ranking). Rublev, who missed the opening round due to the high number of seeds (6), on the way to the match with Hanfman he passed the Slovenian Alex Molchan and the Spaniard Davidovich-Fokina.
Until now, Andrey and Yannick have played only once. It happened at the Australian Open – 2021. Then the Russian won a comfortable victory at the Australian Major over his opponent and confidently moved further up the grid.
On the eve of this match, domestic experts noted the following. For example, Alexei Selivanenko, vice president of the Russian Tennis Federation, member of the ITF Board of Directors, before the face-to-face duel between the German and the 25-year-old Muscovite, said that anyone could win this pairing, since it was already they had observed sensations in the capital of Italy. “In each round of the tournament in Rome, we see examples of how even quite a large number of players are doing now. Anyone can beat anyone under certain circumstances,” Selivanenko said in an interview with Vprognoze.ru.
The two-time champion of the Grand Slam tournaments in mixed doubles Andrey Olkhovsky had a different opinion, calling Andrey the unequivocal favorite of the fight. In an interview with the “Championship”, the 57-year-old native of Moscow said that his compatriot has good chances to enter the next stage of the tournament.
The reported match began with the fact that both players took their feed with confidence. At the same time, in the first game, Hanfman was closer to the break, who had a chance to win games at the reception in the third and seventh games, respectively. However, the German did not notice his chances (in total there were three per set), and the rivals reached a tie-break. The “tennis penalty” began with the fact that the opponents simply could not score points on their serve. Having made another mini-break, Yannick managed to get the next two points and led with a score of 5:2.
However, Andrei managed to restore the balance on the scoreboard, equalizing the numbers – 5:5. True, the Russian was not enough by the end of the 13th game. As a result, the opening set fell behind with racket number 101 in the world – 7:6 (5). In his heart, Rublev even threatened to break the racket, but he decided to do without tennis equipment and calmly sat down in an armchair.
Photo: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images
Andrey started the second game confidently, making a break in the first game. Then the tennis players confidently took the games on the field. The sixth racket in the world was able to hit another break when the score was 4:2, but failed to use three break points, allowing the opponent to hold serve. However, this circumstance did not change the course of the table in the second set. From the third set point, the Russian managed to close the game, turning this match into a deciding set – 6:4.
Photo: Silvia Lore/Getty Images
The third began under the dictate of a 25-year-old Muscovite. Andrei immediately made a slight break, and it seemed that he would not let go of the thread of the game anymore. However, the German grabbed his hands and feet in this match, literally igniting another gear. Hanfman made a reverse break in the next game, played four (!) Break points at once with a score of 1: 1 and took the lead in the game – 2: 1. If Rublev left behind the next difficult game (the score was even several times), then the domestic athlete was not enough for more. With the score 2:2 30:30, served by a tennis player from Germany, the 2020 Olympic champion in mixed doubles lost a point and allowed himself some obscene words in his native Russian.
The referee in the tower immediately issued a warning to the Moscow native, immediately realizing what the player had in mind. Andrey, who is known for his excessive emotionality, was quick to object to the referee, stating that he used the phrase “How many more times?”, which in English means “How many more times can you?”. However, the judge did not want to listen to the Russian’s explanations and left his decision in force, and Hanfman took away the serve.
Perhaps it was these extra emotions that prevented the Muscovite from fighting for victory in the deciding set. Andrew then allowed his opponent to break immediately. Soon the representative of Germany already had a comfortable 5: 2 on the scoreboard in his favor. Nothing could prevent the main sensation of the following day from taking place. The German athlete led the match to victory with a spectacular ace, although the Karlsruhe native had to play a breakball in the last ninth game of the third set a little earlier – 6:3.
Thus, the asset of the 31-year-old classified in Rome already has two victories over top 10 tennis players. Next, the German athlete will compete with the winner of the Alexander Zverev – Daniil Medvedev couple.
The super tournament in the Italian capital takes place from May 9 to 21. Follow all the events in the “Championship”.
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