The VTB Kremlin Cup will not occur in Moscow in October, with the organizers canceling both the men's and women's events and leaving the Muscovites without professional tennis in 2020. The Olympic Stadium in Moscow hosted the 30th edition of the VTB Kremlin Cup last year, staying in the ATP calendar since 1990 as the first international professional tennis even in the Soviet Union.
Players like Goran Ivanisevic, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Nikolay Davydenko, Richard Gasquet and Marin Cilic had won the title there in the past, and Kafelnikov is by far the most successful player, winning five titles in a row in front of the home crowd between 1997 and 2001.
Karen Khachanov lifted the trophy in 2018, succeeded by a Moscow native Andrey Rublev who won the crown on his 22nd birthday on October 20, beating Adrian Mannarino in the title clash. In the previous six years, Andrey had failed to win a match in Moscow, changing that last fall to become a champion, beating Mannarino 6-4, 6-0.
Andrey had toppled Roger Federer in Cincinnati that summer and played on a high level ever since, losing to the better-ranked opponents and using a favorable draw (Daniil Medvedev had to withdraw) celebrate the second ATP crown after Umag 2017.
It was the first meeting on the Tour between Andrey and Adrian, and the Russian held the strings of the encounter firmly in his hands, dropping only 12 points in eight service games and fending off the only break chance given to Mannarino.
The Frenchman had to repeat those numbers if he wanted to stay competitive, which wasn't the case that day, landing only 45% of the first serve in and getting broken four times to push the youngster over the finish line.
Andrey kicked off the encounter with a break at 15, fending off a break chance in game six to open a 4-2 lead and firing four service winners at 4-3 to stay ahead.
After 30 consecutive editions, there will be no ATP event in Moscow in 2020.
Adrian did play well after that break he suffered, but it wasn't enough to keep him in the opener for longer, as Rublev landed three winners and sealed it with a 30-shot rally for a 6-4.
There was only one player in set number two, with Mannarino taking only five points in six games, losing ground completely and allowing Andrey to sprint towards the crown. The home favorite broke at love in the first game and confirmed the advantage with three winners in the next one.
Mannarino sprayed a forehand error to find himself 3-0 down before Andrey brought the next game home with a beautiful forehand down the line winner. With nothing left in the tank, the Frenchman got broken at love in game five and netted a forehand a few minutes later, allowing Rublev to serve a bagel and lift the trophy in style.