Rublev Last Seed Standing In Halle, Reaches Final Four

Andrey Rublev (photo: NOVENTI OPEN/Mathias Schulz)

HALLE/STARNBERG, June 18, 2021

Eight of the Top 15 players in the ATP Rankings were seeded at the NOVENTI OPEN singles, yet only one seed reached the quarterfinals for the first time in the tournament’s 28-year history.

No. 4 seed and World No. 7 Andrey Rublev is the sole surviving seed and continued his run in Halle, Westphalia by beating 2011 champion Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 7-6(4), 6-2 on Friday afternoon. Rublev struck nine aces and won 82 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after one hour and 21 minutes.

“I have adapted to the grass, but there are so many things I can still improve on the grass. For example, with the slice, the volley, and moving better,” said Rublev, who had only won four ATP Tour main draw matches on grass prior to this week. “Also, defending on grass, because it is different, you can’t defend with high balls like on clay, so I think I am still far away.

“In general, though, because my game is to play aggressively. If you play aggressive, this helps you a lot on grass, so I think my game for this surface is ok. Philipp Kohlschreiber is good on this surface, so this match has given me confidence.”

Rublev will next take on Georgian qualifier Nikoloz Basilashvili, who defeated Lloyd Harris from South Africa 6-4, 7-6(5) after one hour and 48 minutes.

Auger-Aliassime soars past Giron

In the top half of the draw, Felix Auger-Aliassime remained untroubled during his 6-3, 6-2 win over US-American qualifier Marcos Giron. The 20-year-old Canadian fired 14 aces, saved the only break point he faced and capitalized on all of his three own break-point chances to advance to the semi-finals in 58 minutes.

“I’ve been playing well these past two weeks, believing in myself a lot and dominating my service games,” said Auger-Aliassime, who finished runner-up to Marin Cilic at last week’s MercedesCup in Stuttgart. “As soon as I got the break [in the first set], I feel like I loosened up and things were just going better and better. 

“I don’t think Marcos played his best match, I’ve seen him play great matches before and beat Top 10 opponents… but in the end, I think I was able to put a lot of pressure on him and dictate the points. So I can be happy with my performance.”

Auger-Aliassime will next oppose Frenchman Ugo Humbert, who battled past #NextGenATP US-American Sebastian Korda 6-2, 6-7(3), 6-4 in the final match of the day. The encounter lasted two hours and 29 minutes.