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Rublev Rumbles Into US Open Third Round

The #NextGenATP stars of the ATP World Tour are on a tear this week at the US Open, making Flushing Meadows their playground with a trio storming into the third round.

Andrey Rublev joined Borna Coric and Denis Shapovalov with a stunning 7-5, 7-6(3), 6-3 upset of Grigor Dimitrov on Thursday afternoon. Rublev demonstrated the poise of a veteran on Louis Armstrong Stadium, crushing his forehand with fearless aplomb. He fired 36 winners, including 23 on that wing, while saving eight of 10 break points faced.

Andrey Rublev claims his first Top 10 victory in upsetting Grigor Dimitrov at the US Open.
Seventh seed Dimitrov was not as sharp as he was in streaking to the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati two weeks ago, and Rublev took full advantage. It was the Russian's first Top 10 win, marking the third time a #NextGenATP player has beaten a Top 8 seed this week in New York. On Wednesday, Coric upset fourth seed Alexander Zverev and Shapovalov shocked eighth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

"I think my style of game is to just play aggressive, to try to play with my rhythm because I have quite good rhythm," said Rublev. "I can compete with many good guys. I think this is one of the main things of my game. Of course, to try to work hard, to try to improve all the things that I need to improve every day. I hope that I'm doing better and better. In this way I have better results and ranking."

Rublev's victory also marks the first time multiple teenagers are into the US Open third round in nearly a decade, since Marin Cilic, Juan Martin del Potro and Kei Nishikori advanced as far in 2008. He is making strides in solidifying his place among the eight players who will feature at the Next Gen ATP Finals from 7-11 November in Milan. He is currently fifth in the Emirates ATP Race To Milan.

For Rublev, the straight-sets scoreline does not tell the entire story. It was a battle from first ball, with Dimitrov streaking to a 4-1 lead in both the first and second sets, before Rublev stormed back. After breaking the Bulgarian serving for the opener at 5-3, he broke again and closed it out on his fourth set point. His defensive prowess was on full display as he replicated the result in the second set, and claimed an early break in the third before holding to the finish line.

"I was just thinking to try to focus, just to try to fight, no matter even if I am losing with a break. And in the end, I was little bit lucky. I made a few good returns. I hit maybe a few points close to the line. In the end I broke. I think I was just pushing myself to fight for every point, even if I'm with break down. That's how it works."

A lunging forehand winner closed out the win after two hours and 27 minutes. Rublev will next face Damir Dzumhur in an unseeded battle on Saturday. A coveted spot in a first Grand Slam fourth round will be on the line. It will be their second FedEx ATP Head2Head encounter, with Rublev having prevailed on the clay of Istanbul in 2015.

Dzumhur rallied past Cedrik-Marcel Stebe 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, 6-1, concluding his impressive month of August with a 14-3 record. Runner-up at both the ATP Challenger Tour event in Santo Domingo and ATP World Tour 250 in Winston-Salem, the Bosnian is closing in on a career-high in the Top 50 of the Emirates ATP Rankings.

Ninth seed David Goffin and 18th seed Gael Monfils both had to do it the hard way, fighting through five-setters on Thursday to set their third-round showdown. Goffin improved to 5-4 since suffering a serious ankle injury at Roland Garros with his 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-7(2), 7-6(4), 6-3 victory over Guido Pella, the No. 72 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.

The Belgian held a set point at 5-4 in the fourth set but was forced to scrap it out on his third chance in the tie-break to take a two-sets-to-one lead. From there, his Argentine opponent began to fade, dropping serve twice in the final set of a four-hour, 26-minute battle.

Monfils, a semi-finalist at Flushing Meadows last season (l. to No. 1 Djokovic), called a medical time-out during the second set of his match, but rallied to hold off American lefty Donald Young 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 on Grandstand. The Frenchman held four set points to take a two-set lead on Young’s serve at 4-5, only to drop the set in a tie-break.

The final set featured five breaks and after a lengthy battle on serve at 5-5, a rash of unforced errors cost the American the break. Monfils returned to close it out with his 19th ace. Goffin and Monfils have split their two prior FedEx ATP Head2Head encounters.

Source: http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/us-open-2017-thursday-rublev

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