Rublev Rallies Past Rune For First Masters Title In Monte Carlo
It looked like Andrey Rublev was headed for a third straight loss in a Masters final but the Russian turned this around late rallying from 4-1 down in the third to defeat Holger Rune 5-7, 6-2, 7-5.
“I have tears,” Rublev said after. “I don’t know what to say. I am so happy. I have been struggling so much to win a Masters 1000 tournament. Trailing 1-4, 0-30, then saving break points, thinking there is no chance to win. But somehow I did it.
“I was hoping deep inside that I would have one chance,” he added. “Play until the end. I remember the previous finals and when I was losing I thought I’d have no luck and mentally I was going down. But today I thought, ‘Just believe until the end’, and this is what I was trying to do in the third set, hoping I would have an extra chance to come back and what a way to do it.”
After dropping the second, the 19-year-old Rune was in complete command late building a 4-1 edge with a chance at 5-1 in the decider. Double faults and spotty play gave life to Rublev who roared back winning six of the last seven games.
“I was definitely in control in the third set and also I would say mostly in the first set as well,” said Rune who won his last final coming at the Paris Masters last fall. “But again, I didn’t manage to close it out. Disappointing, but again, it’s part of tennis.”
Rublev captures his 13th career title and biggest of his career, the first at the Masters level.
“I was thinking that if I do the things right outside the court, practicing-wise, I will have chances to win the big titles,” Rublev said. “The thing is I didn’t know when it’s going to happen, this year, last year, two years ago, because I played two finals before. I played couple of times semifinals, and I couldn’t make it. In the end, happened here.
“I didn’t really expect that I’m going to win the title before week, but then match by match I started to win, and then somehow I ended up winning.”
The 25-year-old Rublev will surely hope this catapults him to greater things in Grand Slams where he is 0-7 in quarterfinals.
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