2020 in Review: Andrey Rublev downs David Goffin, setting eyes on Alexander Zverev

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2020 in Review: Andrey Rublev downs David Goffin, setting eyes on Alexander Zverev

A year ago, Andrey Rublev made the worst start of his Major campaign, suffering a loss to Mackenzie McDonald in the Australian Open first round. Eager to raise his game to a higher level, Andrey claimed back-to-back ATP 250 titles at the beginning of 2020, heading to Melbourne with momentum and passing two lower-ranked opponents to find himself in the third round.

That's where things became serious for the young Russian, and he was ready for all the obstacles, ousting world no. 11 David Goffin 2-6, 7-6, 6-4, 7-6 in three hours. The encounter lasted for three hours and the youngster overcame a slow start to grab the next three sets and advance into the last 16, setting Alexander Zverev clash.

Both players faced six break points and struggled to defend them, with five breaks for the Belgian and four for the Russian, who had the upper hand in the decisive moments to cross the finish line first and score the second triumph over David in as many matches.

The Russian had 42 winners and 32 unforced errors, taming his strokes nicely and taking advantage of Goffin's 50 unforced errors to seal the deal in four sets. Rublev painted a backhand down the line winner for a hold at love in the opening game, wasting a 40-15 lead at 1-1 to suffer a break following Goffin's backhand down the line winner.

The Belgian held at 15 in game six after a service winner, scored another break in game seven and secured the opener with a smash at the net a few minutes later for 6-2. Like in the first set, David grabbed a break at 1-1 in the second, cementing the advantage with a hold at 15 for a set and a break lead.

Andrey Rublev defeated David Goffin 3-1 in the Australian Open third round.

Standing strong behind the initial shot, David brought the eighth game home and served for the set at 5-4. Out of a sudden, Andrey broke back at love to level the score at 5-5 and gain momentum, wasting a set point on the return in game 12 but taking a tie break 7-3 to perform a steal and gather a boost.

Goffin forced Rublev's error in the second game of the third set to secure an early lead like in the previous two sets, losing the advantage a few minutes later and bringing the Russian back into contention. Looking for more, Andrey broke at love at 4-4 to move in front and held at 15 with a service winner to open two sets to love lead after two hours.

Rublev grabbed a break at 2-2 in the fourth set and Goffin pulled it back straight away with a backhand down the line bullet. Both players served well in the rest of the set to introduce a tie break that Rublev won 7-4 to seal the deal and advance into the last 16.