Andrey Rublev, Holger Rune advance to Monte Carlo final

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Andrey Rublev rallied to beat Taylor Fritz 5-7, 6-1, 6-3, and Holger Rune came back to oust Jannik Sinner 1-6, 7-5, 7-5, on Saturday to advance to the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters final in Monaco.

In the first meeting on clay between the fifth-seeded Rublev of Russia and the eighth-seeded Fritz, the match was delayed for nearly two hours in the third set due to a downpour.

The pair of 25-year-olds combined for 13 breaks of serve, but Rublev finished with 27 winners to 16 unforced errors in comparison to Fritz’s ratio of 21 to 26.

After the restart, Fritz had difficulty raising his level of play, but Rublev picked up where left off. He broke Fritz’s serve to go up 4-2 and held on to his serve to secure the win in a two-hour, seven-minute match.

“It was really tough, especially against Taylor,” Rublev said. “I lost past three times [against him] I think, [including] in Indian Wells in the semifinals. It was tough mentally to play against him because I was thinking if I would have [a chance].

“I started really well and then I was up a break and then he broke me back, but I knew I would have chances. In the end we had a great match and I am pleased with the win.”

Rublev is in the Monte Carlo final for the second time, having lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas in 2021, as he bids for a first ATP 1000 title.

In the second semifinal – a two-hour, 46-minute match — the seventh-seeded Sinner outpaced the sixth-seeded Rune in the opening set and displayed his power off the baseline. The 21-year-old Italian also excelled at the line, claiming 12 of 14 first-serve points.

Rune turned it around in the second set, opening a 3-0 lead. After rain interrupted play for about 50 minutes, the 19-year-old Dane remained steadier on the baseline en route to evening the match. He won 16 of 23 points and 10 of 23 first-service return points.

In the decisive third set, Rune put Sinner away by winning 10 of 15 net points and 10 of 15 second-serve points. His first serve excelled as well, as he collected 14 of 19 points (73.7 percent).

“It was quite unbelievable. Jannik started firing, hitting a lot of winners. He’s been in great form the last couple of months,” Rune said. “I had to dig deep, find solutions, which I did very well.

“Not ideal weather to play in the beginning, but it is what it is. It was an amazing crowd, actually, even though they were cheering for Jannik. I still think it’s fun to play like this.”

–Field Level Media

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