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#NextGenATP Rublev Books First Final Spot Vs. Lorenzi

#NextGenATP Russian Andrey Rublev showed great maturity in reaching his first ATP World Tour final on Saturday at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag. He will now meet fourth seed Paolo Lorenzi.

World No. 74 Rublev knocked out wild card Ivan Dodig 7-6(4), 6-1 in one hour and 41 minutes to become the second teenager (after then 19-year-old Alexander Zverev at the Open Sud de France in February) to reach a tour-level final this year.

#NextGenATP Russian Andrey Rublev celebrates reaching his first ATP World Tour final with victory over Ivan Dodig in Umag on Saturday.
"I'm happy that I'm in my first final," Rublev said. "The key was staying strong mentally. I feel that both of us weren't feeling really well on the court and the conditions were tough. It was more mental."

The Moscow native is into the final as a Lucky Loser, having fallen to Hungary's Attila Balazs in straight sets on Monday. He is the first Lucky Loser to reach an ATP World Tour final since Marcel Granollers in Valencia 2010 (l. to Ferrer) and is bidding to become the first to win a title since Rajeev Ram in Newport 2009.

Rublev took a 5-3 lead in the first set, but could not convert a set point opportunity on Dodig’s serve at Ad-Out, when he led 5-4. The 19 year old was then broken in the next game, but regrouped to win the tie-break and broke a further two times – at 2-1 and 4-1 – in the second set.

The Russian teenager will face 35-year-old Italian veteran Paolo Lorenzi on Sunday after the Rome native defeated countryman Alessandro Giannessi 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. It will be their first FedEx ATP Head2Head encounter.

Lorenzi, who has a 1-2 record in ATP World Tour trophy matches, needed two hours and 36 minutes to defeat Giannessi. He squandered a 4-2 lead in the second set, as Giannessi reeled off six of seven games to force a decider, where he grabbed an early break. But Lorenzi would right the ship, breaking right back for 2-all, before eventually surging past the finish line with a service winner.

"I'm really happy to be in the final in Umag," said Lorenzi. "It was a really tough match because I know Alessandro really well and we're good friends. It was a battle, but I hope to recover and be ready for tomorrow."

World No. 34 Lorenzi will contest his first ATP World Tour final since February, when he fell to Victor Estrella Burgos in the Quito final. He is bidding to secure a second title, having prevailed on the clay of Kitzbühel exactly one year ago. The Italian is also looking to join Ryan Harrison and Yuichi Sugita as winners on both the ATP World Tour and ATP Challenger Tour this year. He lifted the trophy on home soil in Caltanissetta last month.

Lorenzi is looking to become the second straight Italian winner in Umag, following in the footsteps of reigning champion Fabio Fognini. Rublev, meanwhile, is hoping to join Nikolay Davydenko (2009) as Russian titlists in the Croatian beach resort town.

Source: http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/dodig-rublev-lorenzi-giannessi-umag-2017-saturday

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