Andrey Rublev and Andy Murray will meet in the Rotterdam second round, facing each other for the first time in four years. Their previous match came at the Australian Open 2017 when world no. 1 toppled a teenager 6-3, 6-0, 6-2 in the second round.
A lot has changed since then, with Rublev becoming a top-10 star and Murray struggling to return into the top-100 following numerous setbacks with injuries since that mentioned 2017. Murray played only a couple of matches in 2020 and finished the season with three straight losses since the US Open.
The Briton had to skip the Australian Open at the beginning of the current season due to a coronavirus, recovering and returning in Montpellier, where he experienced the fourth straight ATP defeat. Seeking the first Rotterdam crown since 2009, Murray lost the opening set against Robin Haase and trailed 3-0 in the decider before turning the tables for a 2-6, 7-6, 6-3 victory, his first on the Tour since September!
On the other hand, Rublev ousted a qualifier Marcos Giron 7-6, 6-3 for his ninth victory from ten matches in 2021. It was Andrey's 16th consecutive ATP 500 win following three back-to-back titles in Hamburg, St. Petersburg and Vienna at the end of the previous year, hoping for more of the same against Andy but suggesting it will be anything but easy.
Andrey Rublev said nice words about Andy Murray ahead of their duel.
Andrey called Andy the legend of our sport and one of the nicest persons on and off the court. Rublev recalled that Australian Open match, saying that Murray destroyed him in that one.
We should expect a much tighter battle in their Rotterdam clash, and the Russian as the favorite to extend his streak at this level and advance into the quarters. "It was a tough match against Marcos Giron, a qualifier who had found the rhythm before me.
It was my first indoor match of the season, and I felt a bit tight in the opener. Andy Murray is a true legend; I have a great connection with him. I like him as a person and a player. Andy destroyed me at the Australian Open in 2017; I'm sure we will have a closer battle this time, with long rallies and everything," Andrey Rublev said.