UMAG, July 20, 2018
Andrey Rublev‘s return to the courts has come to an end for this week. The defending champion in Umag lost in Friday’s quarterfinals of the Plava Laguna Croatia Open 6-3, 7-6(6) to Robin Haase from the Netherlands.
The fourth seeded Russian played his first match in three months because of a stress fracture in his lower back against Canadian teenager Félix Auger-Aliassime in the second round. Rublev, who became the first lucky loser in eight years to win an ATP World Tour title here in Istria last year, emerged victorious after three hard-fought sets.
“I was super happy because it’s my first match since three months, and I was really happy to win it. It was a little bit emotional moment for me,” Rublev said aftewards but also had to admit: “I am really tired. It felt like playing five sets today.”
Haase into second semi-final of the season
Haase capitalized on his chances on a cloudy afternoon in Umag. The 31-year-old Dutch broke his opponent’s serve twice and won 54 per cent of the total points played to secure victory in one hour and 38 minutes.
“I have been playing quite well this season,” Haase said after reaching his second semi-final of the year. “I played a good match today, although I didn’t serve that well. At sea level, however, it’s difficult to hit that many aces.
“Conditions are pretty tough. It wasn’t that hot today but very humid. We are sweating a lot, which takes a lot of energy out of you, but I have already shown some fighting spirit this week. I guess that’s why I am in the semis.”
Haase will face Guido Pella, one of two players from Argentina in the stage of the final four. The 28-year-old from Buenos Aires edged past Dusan Lajovic of Serbia 7-6(3), 7-5.
Pella will be joined by compatriot Marco Trungelliti, who beat Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy 6-1, 6-4 in only 72 minutes. The Argentine qualifier will next challenge Marco Cecchinato from Italy, who eased past Serbian Laslo Djere 6-4, 6-1 in the final match of the day.
Photo Gallery (by Florian Heer)