Andrey Rublev has been one of the players to beat in the opening two weeks of the season, clinching two ATP 250 titles in Doha and Adelaide to grab 500 points and a perfect 8-0 score. At the inaugural Adelaide event, Andrey took down a qualifier and the first-time finalist Lloyd Harris 6-3, 6-0 in swift 56 minutes to wrap up another impressive week ahead of the first Major of the season in Melbourne.
On Friday, Andrey survived a marathon clash against another super talented youngster Felix Auger-Aliassime, saving energy and determination for another encounter and dominating against the South African to clinch the fourth ATP crown.
Lloyd's primary weapons were not there at Memorial Drive Tennis Centre today, firing eight aces but dropping more than a half points behind the initial shot, getting broken four times and wasting all four chances on the return to stay on just three games.
It was a promising start for the first time-finalist, holding with easy in games two and four and creating a break chance at 2-2. Rublev saved it with a solid lob than the South African failed to control, with game points squandered for Lloyd in the next game and allowing Andrey to grab a break after a forehand unforced error.
Serving at 4-2, the Russian had to work hard to repel three break points, hitting four winners in the next five points to get out of jail and remain in front. Andrey closed the set with three winners in the ninth game, forging a 6-3 advantage in 33 minutes and hoping for more of the same in the rest of the encounter.
There was only one player on the court in set number two, as Rublev grabbed 24 out of 32 points to storm over the finish line and move over the top in style. Lloyd netted a forehand in the first game, spraying another mistake in the next one to push Andrey 2-0 up and drift further away from the favorable result.
Playing better and better, Andrey landed a forehand down the line winner to secure another break and gain a 3-0 advantage, closing the next game with a service winner and delivering another break that sent him 5-0 up. Serving for the title, Rublev produced a comfortable hold to wrap up the win and celebrate the second crown in as many weeks.