Andrey Rublev beat American Taylor Fritz 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 on Saturday, coming back from being down a set to move on to his third Masters final. He will now play Holger Rune, a Danish youth, in the final.
Fritz was ahead of Rublev in the semi-finals because he had won three straight matches against him. However, it was Rublev who won the match, which was stopped for nearly two hours in the final set because of rain.
“It was very hard to beat Taylor, who beat me three times. “Very hard on my mind to play against him,” said Rublev, who was the fifth seed.
“But I began to feel like I might have a chance. Then we played a great match, which I won.”
Fritz got off to a bad start and lost his first service game. The American was confused by the court, which he seemed to have mastered when he beat defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas, who was watching the semi-final from the stands.
Fritz quickly fell behind 2-0 and even broke his racquet out of anger. He turned things around, though, by engaging Rublev in long rallies that led to powerful winners. He tied the set at 3-3 and then again at 5-5 as the two players took turns taking breaks.
Rublev had the chance to serve for the set, but Fritz took advantage of his fourth straight break point to win the first set and send Rublev to the bathroom before the second set.
But when the sky got cloudy, Rublev was unbeatable in the second set. He hit 11 winners, while Fritz lost his touch and couldn’t make any break points. He also made 17 mistakes, which helped the Russian force the match to a third set.
Fritz was ahead in the third set, and the crowd stood up when the American won a hard point after a 40-shot rally. However, Rublev hit right back to break and even the score, then took a 3-2 lead before it started to rain.
Rublev won the first game after they went back to the board to hold the lead, while Fritz’s number of unforced errors kept going up after they went back to the board.
Fritz saved three match points on his serve, but in the next game, Rublev served to love and fired his 27th winner to move into the final.
RUNE OUSTS SINNER
In the second semi-final, 19-year-old Rune beat Italian Jannik Sinner with a comeback win of 1-6 7-5 7-5. This put him into his second Masters final after his amazing run to the title in Paris last November.
The match was hard to play because of the wind and a break for rain, but Sinner won the first set easily by winning five games in a row after the score was tied at one. This took 31 minutes.
Rune was up 3-0 in the second when it started to rain. When it stopped, they played again under the lights.
Sinner had a hard time after the break, and when he was down 5-2 and 30–0 on serve, he was in a tough spot. However, he did an amazing comeback and tied the set at 5–5.
Even though Rune lost his cool and tried to get even with the chair judge and the crowd by shushing them, he was still able to win the second set and force a third.
In the final match, which was tight, both players were determined to hold serve. Sinner saved five break points until the Italian gave up while serving to stay in the match.
After nearly three hours on the court, Rune beat the 21-year-old and won the match. He is the first youngster to reach the tournament’s final since Rafa Nadal in 2006.