After almost two decades, two Russian have won back-to-back titles at a home ATP event. Marat Safin did that in 2000 and 2001, with Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev repeating the feat in the previous 12 months to give the home crowd something to cheer about.
The 23-year-old Rublev defeated Borna Coric 7-6, 6-4 in an hour and 39 minutes, leaving the Croat empty-handed for the second year in a row in St. Petersburg, losing another final in a former Russian capital in 2019. Thus, Andrey claimed the fourth title of the season, joining Novak Djokovic at the top of the list and taking a massive step towards the first ATP Finals berth.
Andrey had to work hard against Ugo Humbert in the second round and the semis against Denis Shapovalov, passing those obstacles to set the title clash where he overpowered Coric, dropping 12 points behind the initial shot and never facing a break point!
Borna gave his best to remain in touch, struggling a bit on the second serve and getting broken once in set number two, enough to push Rublev towards the finish line and another title. The Croat had a massive opportunity to take the opener, forging a 5-2 lead in the tie break before Andrey rattled off five straight points to steal it and gain momentum ahead of set number two.
Rublev held in the first game of the encounter with an ace down the T line, followed by Coric who added his name on the scoreboard after a service winner in game two. Andrey placed a forehand down the line winner to secure the third game, reaching deuce in game two but nothing more than that.
The Russian fired another forehand winner in game five for a 3-2 lead and created a break chance in the next one with a return winner. Coric saved it with an ace, and they both served well in the remaining games to set up a tie break.
Andrey Rublev joins Novak Djokovic on four ATP titles in 2020.
Borna opened a 5-2 gap with a service winner, only to spray four forehand errors and allow Andrey to steal the set with a service winner. Coric netted a backhand at 2-2 in set number two, sending Andrey a set and a break up and finding himself 4-2 down following a service winner from Rublev.
The Russian closed the eighth game with an ace to open a 5-3 gap, forcing the Croat to serve for staying in the final. Borna held at 30 in that ninth game when Rublev netted a forehand, having to pull the break back in the next one if he wanted to prolong the encounter.
Showing no signs of nerves, Andrey held at 15 in game ten to seal the deal and celebrate the title, the second at home and the first as the top-10 player.