Andrey Rublev may have lost his only fight in Doha last week, but this week he returned to the 500-man tournament and extended his winning streak in the category to 21 consecutive wins.
Rublev celebrated his return to victories today, beating Emil Ruusuvuori 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of the Dubai Tennis Championships in Dubai.
The 23-year-old Russian had suffered his second defeat just for this season last week in Doha, by Roberto Bautista Agut. Today, however, he not only improved his record for 2021 to 14-2 victories, but also reached 21 consecutive victories in 500-a-side tournaments, extending his great streak.
Rublev, who lost just 5 points behind his first serve (27/32), took a break in each set. In the 1st set he made the break very early and led 2-0, while in the 2nd set the break was made in the 7th game, to go ahead 4-3. In his own serve, the Russian was not in danger at all, as he did not allow Ruusuvuori to reach a break point.
With his 21st consecutive ATP 500 tournament victory, Rublev equaled the record of Andy Murray, which is the second highest record in the category (since 2009). The first belongs to Roger Federer, with 28 consecutive victories in 500 arias.
In the “16” phase of Dubai, Andrey Rublev will face one of Nikoloz Basilashvili and Taylor Fritz, who are currently competing.
Earlier in the day, Denis Shapovalov made an impressive debut, beating Jan-Lennard Struff 6-1, 6-3. The young Canadian will face Hubert Hurkacz in the 3rd round, who beat Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-4.
Potential opponents of Shapovalov and Hurkacz in the quarterfinals are Karen Khachanov and Jeremy Chardy, who also entered the “16” phase, where they will face each other. Khachanov had a hard time beating Alexei Popyrin 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (4), while Chardy, who is having a very good period, left out of No. 9 on the board yesterday, Alex De Minaur, prevailing with 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
19-year-old Jannik Sinner beat Alexander Bublik 2-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 and will play in the 3rd round with Roberto Bautista Agut, who got an unbeaten qualifier against Matthew Ebden. The Spaniard was ahead 4-1 over the Australian, who left for the second game in a row due to injury. He also missed the semi-final with Daniil Medvedev last week in Marseille.