Sixth-seeded Russian Andrey Rublev held off Norway’s Casper Ruud 6-3, 7-5 on Saturday to reach the final of the Monte Carlo Masters in Monaco.
Rublev, 23, was coming off a major upset of 11-time Monte Carlo Masters champion Rafael Nadal of Spain the day before.
After suffering an early break, Rublev rallied to take the first set in 32 minutes. Ruud again jumped ahead 4-2 in the second set, but Rublev broke his serve in the next game and again at 5-5 to seize control of the match.
“Casper is a really amazing player, especially on clay,” said Rublev. “Since the beginning he put a really high intensity and was really tough. I knew that I needed to raise my level if I wanted to fight against him, because if I (did) not raise the level I lose for sure.”
Rublev, who improved to an ATP-best 24-4 this season with the win, will face fourth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in the final.
It’s the first ATP Masters 1000 level final for Rublev.
“It is an amazing feeling. It is my first (ATP Masters 1000) final, so I am really happy,” said Rublev. “We will see what is going to happen. I will try to do my best.”
Tsitsipas eased past Daniel Evans of Great Britain 6-2, 6-1 in the other semifinal to reach his second final of the year and 14th of his career (5-8).
Tsitsipas picked up his first break at 3-1 in the first set and never looked back in picking up the victory in one hour, nine minutes and improving to 3-0 against Evans.
“I am indeed pleased with the performance,” said Tsitsipas afterward.
“I found ways to play at my best. It was really difficult to maintain my level of consistency and I am really happy I managed to deal with all the different moments during the match. I had a lot of opportunities to hit the forehand, and think how I wanted to construct the point.”
Tsitsipas, 22, has yet to drop a set in the event in reaching the third Masters 1000 level final of his career. He finished runner-up in both of those finals.
Rublev and Tsitsipas have met six times prior, with each picking up three wins.
Rublev won their most recent meeting at Rotterdam earlier this year, going on to win the final for his only title this year and the eighth of his career.
–Field Level Media