ATP St. Petersburg: Andrey Rublev tops Denis Shapovalov to increase London chances



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ATP St. Petersburg: Andrey Rublev tops Denis Shapovalov to increase London chances

Competing as the top-10 player for the first time, Andrey Rublev is through to his fourth ATP final of the season in St. Petersburg and the second in a row at the ATP 500 level. In the semi-final, Andrey defeated Denis Shapovalov 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and nine minutes, toppling the Canadian for the second time in four matches and earning more points in the battle for the ATP Finals.

The Russian has moved in front of Diego Schwartzman in the ATP Race to London, clinching that final eighth spot and hoping to add more points to his tally in tomorrow's title match. Andrey had to work hard to earn the season's 33rd victory, defending five out of six break chances and seizing two break in sets two and three to cross the finish line and advance into the final.

Rublev saved a break point in the first game with a service winner and brought it home after a backhand mistake from Shapovalov, who had everything settled behind the initial shot right from the start. Rublev wasted game points at 3-3 and got broken following a forehand winner from the Canadian who moved in front for the first time.

Denis held with a booming ace down the T line in game eight to confirm the advantage and wrapped up the set with a service winner at 5-4. Shapovalov lost only six points behind the initial shot in the opener and Rublev repeated that in his games in set number two, saving one break point and earning a single break that carried him towards the set.

The Russian held at love in the first game with an ace, fended off a break point in game three and broke in the next one from 40-0 down to open a 3-1 gap.

Andrey Rublev will compete in the fourth final of the season.

A service winner pushed Rublev 4-1 in front before another strong hold in game seven that moved him closer to the set.

Shapovalov fended off a set point in the eighth game with a forehand winner, reducing the deficit before Rublev landed an ace a few minutes later for 6-3. Andrey saved a break point in the second game of the decider, sailing through his service games in the rest of the set and hoping for a chance on the return.

In the fifth game, he moved in front with a deep return, creating another chance at 4-2 that Denis saved to remain within one break deficit. A smash winner sent Rublev 5-3 up, serving for the victory in game ten and moving over the top with a hold at 15, seeking the fourth title of the season on Sunday.