The 5th seed Andrey Rublev is off to a flying start in Paris, toppling a lucky loser Radu Albot 6-1, 6-2 in 58 minutes. An in-form Russian became the first player with 40 ATP wins in 2020, leaving Novak Djokovic on 39 and standing as the player to beat since the season restart.
Andrey claimed three ATP 500 titles in September and October, hoping for more of the same in Paris after not wasting too much energy in the first encounter. Rublev lost nine points in eight service games, never facing a break point and hitting 28 winners and 15 unforced errors.
Albot was miles behind those numbers, landing three winners in the entire clash and dropping 54% of the points behind the initial shot to suffer four breaks and propel Andrey through. The Russian destroyed the rival in the shortest rallies up to four strokes, controlling the scoreboard and advancing into the third round in no time.
Andrey forced an error from Radu in the fourth game for an early break, holding at love with a forehand winner to confirm the advantage. The Moldovan got broken at love in game seven, allowing Rublev to claim the opener 6-1 in 26 minutes.
Rublev broke at 15 in the first game of the second set with a smash winner and delivered four comfortable holds to keep the pressure on the other side of the net. A backhand down the line winner secured another break for the 5th seed at 4-2, moving over the top a few minutes later for the 14th Masters 1000 victory.
The 6th seed Diego Schwartzman is making big steps towards the first ATP Finals berth, beating Richard Gasquet 7-5, 6-3 in an hour and 24 minutes.
Andrey Rublev is the first player in 2020 with 40 ATP wins.
The Argentine lost 12 points in his games and delivered three breaks to seal the deal in straight sets, hitting 25 winners and 18 unforced errors.
Schwartzman had the upper hand in the shortest and most extended exchanges, prevailing in the opener and bringing the second set home in a quick style to reach the last 16. Diego painted a backhand down the line winner in the second game for an instant break, losing the advantage in game seven when his backhand found the net.
Gasquet gave his best to reach the tie break before spraying a forehand mistake in game 12 that gave his opponent a break and the opening set. Schwartzman clinched a break in the second game of the second set when Gasquet sent a backhand long, serving well in the rest of the clash to wrap up the triumph with a hold at love at 5-3.
Jordan Thompson grabbed the 6th Masters 1000 win, toppling the 15th seed Borna Coric 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and 14 minutes to set Rafael Nadal clash on Thursday.