ATP Rotterdam: Andrey Rublev, Alex de Minaur make winning start

Alexander Bublik and Jan-Lennard Struff joined them in the second round

by Jovica Ilic
ATP Rotterdam: Andrey Rublev, Alex de Minaur make winning start
© Rotterdam - Facebook

Alexander Bublik made a winning start in Rotterdam, beating Borna Coric 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 51 minutes. The Kazakh served at 52% but drew the most from that, defending all five break points and keeping the pressure on the other side.

Borna played against eight break points, losing serve once in each set and finishing on the losing side. Bublik fired 31 unreturned serves and tamed his strokes nicely, landing 28 winners and 27 unforced errors. Coric could not overpower his opponent from the baseline, building the advantage in the mid-range exchanges but struggling in the most advanced rallies.

Borna denied a break point in the fourth game before experiencing more issues at 2-3 from 40-15.

Alex de Minaur, Rotterdam 2024© Rotterdam - Facebook

The Croat played a terrible volley at the net on the third break point, losing serve and falling behind.

Alexander wasted a set point on the return in game eight and served for the set at 5-3. The game turned into a thriller, with the Kazakh squandering seven game points and facing a break point. Borna played a terrible forehand on a break chance, and Alexander clinched the set on his eighth set point with a service winner.

The Croat played a loose smash on a game point in the fifth game of the second set before netting a forehand that sent him 3-2 behind. Bublik struggled in the sixth game, facing three break points and denying them to cement the break and move closer to the finish line.

Coric played against two break points in the seventh game, denying them with winners and remaining within one break deficit. Bublik served for the win at 5-4 and saved a break point with a forced error. The Kazakh converted the first match point with a service winner, sealing the deal and moving into the second round.

Alex de Minaur defeated Sebastian Korda 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 22 minutes. The Aussie dominated with his first serve, saving all four break points at the beginning of the match and mounting the pressure on the other side. The American survived a couple of challenging service games in the opener.

However, he got broken in the tenth game and suffered another break in the sixth game of the second set to push his rival over the top.

Andrey Rublev, Alex de Minaur and Alexander Bublik won in Rotterdam.

Korda squandered a game point at 4-5 in the first set and played a loose forehand to drop serve and fall behind.

Sebastian netted a forehand in the sixth game of the second set, suffering a break at 15 and moving closer to the exit door. De Minaur held at 15 in game seven with a service winner and fired another on a match point to make a winning start.

The 2021 champion Andrey Rublev defeated Zizou Bergs 7-5, 6-3 in an hour and 22 minutes. The Russian outplayed his rival behind the second serve, saving all three break chances and seizing two out of three opportunities on the return to emerge at the top in straight sets.

Berg stayed in touch with Rublev in the shortest exchanges up to four strokes.

Alexander Bublik, Rotterdam 2024© Rotterdam - facebook

The Russian built the advantage in the more advanced ones, delivering a late break in the opener and moving over the top after rattling off the final three games.

There was nothing to separate them in the opening eight games, with Bergs leveling the score at 4-4 with a volley winner. Andrey sprayed a backhand error in the ninth game and offered his rival a break chance. The better-ranked player denied it with a service winner and held for 5-4.

Bergs served to stay in the set for the second time at 5-6 and squandered a game point. He hit a costly double fault, offering Rublev a set point. Andrey seized it after the rival's forehand error, wrapping up the opener 7-5 after 44 minutes.

Rublev served at 2-2 in the second set and offered Bergs two break points after a double fault. Zizou squandered his chance, and it would cost him dearly. Andrey secured the seventh game after an extended exchange and created two break points in the next one.

Bergs netted a forehand on the second, falling 5-3 behind and allowing Rublev to serve for the win. Andrey moved over the top with a service winner, holding at 15 and booking a place in the second round. Jan-Lennard Struff took down Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 in two hours and 25 minutes, standing two points away from the loss three times but emerging at the top.

Hubert Hurkacz, Rotterdam 2024© Rotterdam - Facebook

Davidovich Fokina played rock-solid tennis in his games, saving two out of three break points and keeping the pressure on the other side. The German lost serve two times from nine chances offered to the Spaniard, reducing the damage and prevailing in the pivotal moments, taking only three points more than his rival.

Alejandro moved in front with an early break in the opener and held at 5-4 to close it. There were no break chances in the second set, and they stood locked at 5-5 in the tie break. With no room for errors, Struff clinched it 7-5 to force a decider and extend his chances.

Jan-Lennard led 4-2 in the final set before Alejandro pulled the break back in game eight for more drama. They arranged the deciding tie break, and Struff clinched it 7-4 to seal the deal and move over the top.

Andrey Rublev Alexander Bublik Jan-Lennard Struff