Andrey Rublev: 'I did not beat Stefanos Tsitsipas with a few tools'

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Andrey Rublev: 'I did not beat Stefanos Tsitsipas with a few tools'

Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas battled for the semi-final spot at the ATP Finals. It was their 11th meeting on the Tour, and the Russian scored a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 triumph in an hour and 42 minutes to eliminate the former champion and reach his first ATP Finals semi-final.

After the match, Tsitsipas was unhappy following the loss, saying that Rublev beat him after using a couple of available tools, including his return. On the other hand, Andrey reminded everyone they have always had tight battles.

He praised Stefanos as a better-ranked opponent but mentioned a couple of elements where he is better than him. The Russian denied two out of three break points and delivered three breaks in sets two and three to emerge at the top.

Andrey fired more service winners, and they both had more winners than unforced errors. Rublev built a slight advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes, enough to carry him through. Stefanos made a perfect start before losing ground after the opener, struggling with his return and having regular issues with his team members.

The Greek dropped two points behind the initial shot in the first set and kept the pressure on the other side. Andrey opened a 40-0 lead in the fourth game and squandered no less than seven game points before Stefanos broke him with a forehand crosscourt winner for 3-1.

Producing one good hold after another, Tsitsipas wrapped up the first set with a service winner in game nine for 6-3 in 32 minutes. They served well in the second set's opening seven games to remain neck and neck. The Russian shifted into a higher gear on the return in the eighth game and forced the rival's mistake to move 5-3 in front.

Andrey Rublev defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP Finals.

Andrey saved a break point in game nine and clinched the set after Stefanos' wayward forehand to introduce a decider. Rublev dropped three points behind the initial shot in the final set, and Tsitsipas could not follow that pace.

Instead, he played a loose forehand in the third game to get broken and push the rival closer to the finish line. Rublev moved 4-2 up with a hold at love and extended the next one after Tsitsipas' four game points. Andrey earned a beak chance and seized it after Stefanos' costly double fault that sent him 5-2 in front.

Rublev fired a service winner in the eighth game to advance into his first ATP Finals semi-final. "I fought until the end and kept fighting for every ball. I played better as the match progressed, and I turned it around.

I'm delighted with the outcome. I do not know how many tools I have. Stefanos' backhand is better than mine, and I have the advantage from a forehand wing. Stefanos is faster than me, and my serve is better than his. He is a better-ranked player with more achievements, no doubt.

Still, I did not beat him today because of a few tools. We have had tough battles every time we played; I lost to him twice in three sets this year and beat him in three today. He destroyed me in the last year's Monte Carlo final, but the other matches were even," Andrey Rublev said.