The Australian Open runner-up Dominic Thiem and the newly-established top-10 star Andrey Rublev will train together during the first week of quarantine in January in Melbourne. Rublev is currently preparing at home in Moscow and can't wait to hit the court with Thiem, remembering their previous training sessions and looking forward to new ones.
Andrey has won three out of five matches against Dominic, losing the opening two before taking the upper hand since Hamburg last year. The Russian toppled the Austrian in two tie breaks and prevailed in the Vienna quarter-final this October.
Their most recent clash came at the ATP Finals, with Rublev scoring a 6-2, 7-5 triumph in the final round-robin match that carried no importance. Andrey lost serve once and produced four breaks from ten chances, hitting 26 winners and nine unforced errors to control the scoreboard.
Rublev forced Dominic's error in the opening game and held at 15 with an unreturned serve to create a 2-0 lead. Thiem suffered another break following a forehand down the line winner from Rublev, who fired an ace to open a 4-0 gap after 13 minutes.
The Austrian added his name on the scoreboard soon after that, followed by a booming serve from the Russian, who clinched the opener with another fine hold at 5-2. Rublev stole Thiem's serve after landing a forehand down the line winner in the second set's third game to gain a set and a break lead, cementing it with a service winner in the next one.
Thiem reduced the deficit in game five, and they both served well until game eight.
Andrey Rublev and Dominic Thiem will train in Melbourne's first quarantine week.
From 40-15 up, Andrey lost four straight points in that one and netted a forehand to bring the rival back on the scoreboard and give the serve away for the first time.
Thiem held at 15 to move 5-4 ahead, looking good to perform a comeback and steal the set. Instead of that, Rublev brought the tenth game home in under 50 seconds and seized the fourth break chance a few minutes later when Thiem's volley landed long to open a 6-5 gap and serve for the victory.
The Russian landed an ace in that 12th game to seal the deal and notch his first ATP Finals triumph, leaving London with 200 points on his tally. "Dominic Thiem is one of the players that I like to train with the most.
We have training sessions at an incredible level and with high intensity. If spectators were allowed to watch training sessions as before, they'd like them a lot. We have high speed; the ball is in play for a long time; we relish how everything turns out.
I am certain that it would be great to watch such a training session. Dominic is also a very good guy, friendly and kind," Andrey Rublev said.