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Rublev slips past Tsitsipas, setting a semi-final with Ruud at Nitto ATP Finals

Andrey Rublev reached the semi-finals at the ATP Finals for the first time thanks to a three-set victory over 2019 champion Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Andrey Rublev ATP Finals Turin 2022 Andrey Rublev ATP Finals Turin 2022 || AI / Reuters / Panoramic
Nitto ATP Finals •group-stage • completed
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Andrey Rublev battled back from a set down to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, and earned the last semi-final spot at this year’s ATP Finals in Turin.

The 25-year-old will face Casper Ruud in the semi-finals on Saturday – he owns a 4-1 lifetime record against Ruud but lost the pair’s last meeting at the ATP Finals last year.

The Russian, who had lost both of his previous matches to Tsitsipas in 2022, took over the match with fantastic serving in the second and third sets to earn one of the biggest victories of his season.

Tsitsipas, who ends his season with a 61-24 record, would have finished the season with the No 2 ranking if he could have made his lead stand up. But Rublev was unbreakable in the final two sets of the contest, while Tsitsipas surrendered three breaks of serve as he trotted away by winning nine of the final 13 games.

“You still have a chance”

Rublev has made it a point to talk about his mental evolution this week, saying that while he is aware that he is a work in progress, he is happy that he is becoming stronger in that aspect of his game.

On Friday he said that one of the biggest keys was not getting carried away with his emotions after dropping the opening set.

What pleased him the most?

“That I didn’t give up, that I kept fighting, kept playing,” he said. “I showed my emotions a bit after I lost the stupid game being 40-0 up in the first set – I let my emotions go when I shouldn’t have, but then I tried to keep saying ‘Okay, just keep fighting, keep playing, doesn’t matter, restart.’ 

Rublev’s message to self was simple. Don’t let emotions get in the way of a comeback. What did he tell himself?

“You still have a chance, you will have chances. At least give your best and lose with the feeling inside that you did your best and then I was able to turn around the match and I’m super happy to be in the semis.”

Hoping for a turnaround against Ruud

Ruud gave Rublev a dose of the comeback last year in Turin when he rallied to earn his first win against Rublev in five tries, 2-6, 7-5, 7-6(5). Rublev says that no matter what happens he has immense respect for what two-time Grand Slam finalist Ruud has done, both on and off the court, in 2022.

“I don’t know if it can be different or not. But I’m really looking forward, because Casper is such a nice person inside the court and outside the court. He’s a great player, a great fighter and he achieved so many good things this season. So it’s going to be a really good challenge for me.” 

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