Rublev Captures Maiden Title at Croatia Open Umag

by John on July 24, 2017

Lucky loser Andrey Rublev won his first ATP Tour title last night, defeating No. 4 seed Italian Paolo Lorenzi 6-4, 6-2 in the final of the Croatia Open Umag. The 19-year-old Rublev had lost in the final round of qualifying, but earned a spot in the main draw when Borna Coric was forced to withdraw. Rublev took full advantage of his good fortune, beating defending champion and third seed Fabio Fognini in the quarterfinals and Croatia hope Ivan Dodig in the semis en route to the final. The #NextGenATP Russian became the seventh lucky loser to win an ATP Tour title and the first since Rajeev Ram won at Newport in 2009. With the victory, Rublev will jump 25 spots to a career-high No. 49 in the world in Monday’s updated ATP rankings. The Russian teenager played with controlled aggression throughout the 86 minute contest and showed maturity well beyond his 19 years. Lorenzi, a 35-year-old veteran and accomplished claycourt player, couldn’t keep up with the rapid-fire pace of the young Russian. Rublev broke twice early to jump out to a 4-1 lead in the opener. Lorenzi got one of the breaks back, but it wasn’t enough as Rublev wrapped up the set in 40 minutes. The Italian held twice to start the second set and led 2-1, but those were the last games he would win as Rublev reeled off five games in a row to win the match. “It’s amazing. I have no words to explain it,” Rublev said. “Especially after this tough week and all the feelings that I have been going through. Now, I’m here and it’s amazing. But now, it’s already passed and in two days I have a new match and I have to be ready 100 per cent.” Rublev will play in the German Open in Hamburg this week. “[Andrey] played remarkable throughout the week and again today,” Lorenzi said. “I wasn’t able to vary my game as much as I wanted [to] because I played slower. The match yesterday took away a lot of energy as it was very hot and humid.” Rublev served two aces and won 77 percent of the points on his first serve.

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