Missing a place in the Russian ATP Cup squad at the beginning of the season, Andrey Rublev found the ATP 250 level zone. Following Doha's title, Andrey advanced to the second final a week later in Adelaide, prevailing over Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6, 6-7, 6-4 after an incredible battle at Memorial Drive Tennis Centre.
Two of the most talented youngsters fought for just under three hours, pushing each other to the limit and fending off 17 out of 20 break chances to stay neck and neck from start to finish! Felix gave his 120% in the fourth ATP final quest, blasting 56 winners and 54 unforced errors to perform like the more aggressive player on the court.
The Canadian saved eight out of ten break chances but that wasn't enough to cross the finish line first, repelling two match points in the second set before wasting a massive advantage in the decider to push Andrey towards the victory.
The Russian had 31 winners and 26 unforced errors, repelling nine out of ten break opportunities and keeping his focus on a high level despite some challenging moments at the end of the second and beginning of the third set.
Felix erased a break point in the match's opening game with an ace, doing the same at 3-3 with a smash winner and creating his first opportunities in the next one that could have sent him 5-3 up. Andrey defended three break points to remain on the positive side of the scoreboard, with both serving well in the remaining games to set up a tie break that Rublev claimed 7-5 following a forehand error from Felix.
Andrey Rublev advanced to his second final of the season in Adelaide.
The second set offered more drama and excitement, with 11 break points up for grabs in five different games. With no room for mistakes, Auger-Aliassime survived four of those in the eighth game and had his chances to move in front in the one that followed after creating three break points.
The Russian stayed strong and made a vital hold, keeping the pressure on Felix and earning a match point at 6-5. The Canadian saved it with a service winner to reach the tie break, where he landed another great serve at 6-7 to stay alive.
A teenager defended the second match point and seized the breaker 9-7 thanks to a smash winner that gave him a massive boost after two hours and 16 minutes of a thrilling contest. With the momentum on his side, Felix claimed 12 of the deciding set's first 15 points and broke Andrey after the Russian's costly double fault.
Ready to fight until the end, Rublev broke back at love in game five and saved a break chance at 3-4 to remain in touch and grab a reward when he broke Felix to move 5-4 in front. Serving for the victory in the tenth game, Andrey held at 30 after a smash error from Felix and delivering the 11th straight victory at the beginning of the season.