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ATP Beijing: Zverev eases past Fognini. Rublev ousts Berdych

ATP Beijing: Zverev eases past Fognini. Rublev ousts Berdych

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by Jovica Ilic

World number 4 Alexander Zverev will play in his 11th quarter-final of the season after a 6-4 6-2 triumph against Fabio Fognini in 72 minutes, beating the Italian for the second time this season. Sascha lost serve once from 3 chances he gave to Fabio and he scored 4 breaks on the other hand, taking 45% of the points on the return, which made the difference. It wasn't the match of the highest quality but Zverev was more efficient on both serve and return to prevail in no time at all, avoiding spending too much time on the court.

German wasted 3 break points in the opening game and he had to save 2 break points of his own in the following game, firing 2 good forehands to get away from the problems and hold. Fognini lost his serve in the 5th game after a solid approach from Sascha, who played a loose service game to bring his rival back to the scoreboard, dropping serve in game 8 for a 4-4.

Nonetheless, Fabio double faulted to give his serve away again in game 9 and Zverev clinched the opener in game 10 after 38 minutes. Young star served well in the second ser (71%) and he faced no additional break points, while he stole Fognini's serve twice for a safe triumph.

Fabio netted a forehand to hand his serve in game 3, and he hit another double fault on a break point in game 5, to trail 4-1. From 0-30 down in the 8th game, Sascha hit 3 service winners and a good backhand to seal the deal and move to the last 8, where he will face his doubles partner from junior days.

19-year-old Andrey Rublev had a great run at the US Open, reaching the last 8, and he will now play in his second ATP 500 quarter-final after taking down the 7th seed Tomas Berdych by 1-6 6-4 6-1. Tomas was too strong for Andrey earlier this year at Miami, and it looked he will repeat the similar scoreline here when he grabbed the opening set in such a strong fashion. From 1-6 1-3 down, Rublev started to battle his way back, rattling off 11 out of the last 13 games to complete an important win and set up the quarter-final meeting with Zverev.

This result is even bigger for the Russian if we know that he served at 47% and had 10 double faults, but he managed to outplay Tomas on the return in sets 2 and 3 to cross the finish line first. It was a slow start from both players, Berdych had to save 4 break points in his opening 2 service games, but once he did that it was all about him in the rest of the set, breaking Andrey twice for a 6-1.

Czech scored the first break in game 2 with a return winner, and again in game 5 after a double fault from the frustrated youngster. Things went from bad to worse for Rublev, losing his serve again in the third game of the second set after sending a forehand wide, and Tomas saved a break point in the following game to open up a 3-1 lead.

With his back against the wall, Andrey finally found some drive on the return, breaking back at love in game 6 after a double fault from Czech. They traded breaks in the next two games as well but it was the Russian who was hitting stronger in the closing moments, scoring another break in game 10 (third in a row) to grab the set by 6-4 and force a decider.

There, he fends off a break point in the opening game with a forehand winner and he seized control soon after that, taking the last 5 games of the match (18 of the last 23 points) to bring the win home. Berdych was broken at 15 in game 4, unable to penetrate his rival who was now in a great rhythm, and the teenager was just a game away after another break in game 6, taking a 5-1 lead.

Andrey delivered a win with a forehand winner in the following game, producing some impressive shotmaking in the last 70 minutes of the encounter and leaving Berdych with no answer. Second round results:

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