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Rublev rocked at Kremlin Cup by Mannarino defeat

The world No 6 crashed out of his home tournament at the hands of the Frenchman

Andrey Rublev Andrey Rublev (RUS) reacts during his National Bank Open tennis tournament second round game on August 11, 2021, at Aviva Centre in Toronto, ON, Canada. (Photo by Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire)

Top seed Andrey Rublev suffered a shock defeat at home in Moscow in the Kremlin Cup, losing in the round of 16 to France’s Adrian Mannarino 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-3.

The two had met in the same tournament two years ago – but that was in the final, and Rublev triumphed in straight sets, 6-4, 6-0.

This time, though, the Frenchman came back from a set down – and even managed to win despite wasting two set point opportunities on his racquet in the second set.

At 6-5, the Russian had a match point on the Frenchman’s serve, but he lost it thanks to a backhand that went into the net. The set went to a tiebreak and Mannarino came out on top. Rublev, who showed signs of frustration, dropped down in intensity in the deciding set and failed to trouble the 51st-ranked player in the world on his serve. Mannarino converted the only break point of the set to break away from his opponent and earn his second win over a top-10 player in six attempts this season, following a defeat of Dominic Thiem on Mallorca grass in June.

He is now through to the quarter-finals in Moscow where he will meet a player much lower in the ATP rankings, Ricardas Berankis (107th in the world), whom he has beaten four times in five meetings. Berankis, a lucky loser in the draw this week, defeated Federico Coria in the second round 6-2, 6-1.

Mannarino was coming off back-to-back first round losses in Sofia and Indian Wells, but this week the world No 51 has clearly found his feet following a first-round battle against Roman Safiullin (1-6, 7-6, 6-4), the Frenchman once again put his heart into his work to resist the blows of Rublev.

Second seed Aslan Karatsev had a straightforward day on court, beating Egor Gerasimov 6-4, 6-3 while fourth seed Filip Krajinovic had lost earlier in the day to Spain’s Pedro Martinez, 6-3, 6-4.

Frenchman Gilles Simon had a better day, with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Mackenzie McDonald.

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