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Rublev beats Hurkacz in third set tiebreaker to reach Dubai Open final

After winning in Marseiile on Sunday, Rublev has now won eight matches in a row as he reaches the final in Dubai

Russia's Andrey Rublev at the Dubai Open Russia’s Andrey Rublev at the Dubai Open Image Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

ATP 500 DubaiResults | Schedule

Second seed Andrey Rublev booked his spot in the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships after coming from a set down to beat Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz in a deciding set tiebreak on Friday evening.

The win was Rublev’s eighth in a row after the Russian won the singles (and doubles) title in Marseille on Sunday.

Hurkacz starts strong but Rublev fights back for win in three

It was Hurkacz, the fifth seed, who got off to the better start by breaking Rublev in the Russian’s very first service game to build a 3-0 lead. The Pole held on to that lead, hitting 10 aces along the way, to win the set 6-3, leaving Rublev wondering out loud when the ace barrage would stop.

In the second set, Rublev earned his first break point in the third game, but Hurkacz pulled through. Despite hitting 10 more aces in the second set, the Pole found his second serve under pressure in the second set. Both players eventually held serve until the 12th game, when Rublev earned two more break chances and converted the second one to win the set 7-5.

In the deciding set, Rublev’s third consecutive third-setter in a row, it was the Russian who came close to breaking serve first. Rublev earned four break points in the fourth game of the third set, but Hurkacz saved each of them to hold for 2-2.

Hurkacz had one chance to break Rublev’s serve immediately in the next game but the Russian held on. Both players then held their serve to take the set into a tiebreaker, which Rublev finally won 7-5 to complete the 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 win in two hours and 14 minutes.

This was Rublev’s first win over Hurkacz in three career meetings and moves him into the final where he will play either Denis Shapovalov or Jiri Vesely.

I was just saying, Okay, keep fighting no matter what.

Rublev, who had spoken about how exhausted he felt during the week due to his run in Marseille, said he told himself to keep fighting even when he was down.

“Feel completely tired, to be honest. I was maybe a bit confident from Marseille. Maybe also that some points during the match, especially important points, I was a bit more lucky. In the end all together, like a puzzle, comes together.”

“Yesterday during the match I was thinking, I was losing 5-0 in less than 15 minutes or something like that. I was telling to myself, No way, it’s only 15 minutes and one set down. Please at least try to make it one hour. Even in case you lose, try to play more than one hour. Like in 30 or 40 minutes, it will be completely embarrassing for me. Today I was thinking the same. I lost the first set 6-3 in 20-something minutes. It was so fast. He broke me. Till the end of the set he was serving aces. I was telling to myself the same, Try second set to at least go to the tiebreak, at least it will look better the score and the time. I was just saying, Okay, keep fighting no matter what.”

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