No. 4 seed Andrey Rublev underlined it was "super tough" playing against Gael Monfils at the Cincinnati Masters. Rublev, ranked at No. 7 in the world, edged out Monfils in two tight sets 7-6 (2) 7-6 (5) to reach the Cincinnati Masters quarterfinal.
"It was super tough. It was really humid," Rublev said, per the ATP website. "Gael was running super fast and it's impossible to play short rallies with him. If you try to shoot every ball you will miss most of them and the match will be over in half an hour.
So you need to take your time, stay in the rally and wait for the right moment”.
Rublev escaped with a straight-set win
As not a single break point was seen in the first set -- the set went into a tie-break -- in which Rublev took a comfortable 6-1 lead before realizing his second set point to win a tight opener.
Monfils was three times up by a break in the second set but he failed to capitalize as Rublev managed to force a tie-break. Monfils even had a set point on Rublev's serve in the 10th game but failed to convert. At 6-5 in the second set tie-break, Monfils served a double-fault and Rublev escaped with a straight-set win.
A round earlier, Monfils beat Alex de Minaur to clinch his 500th ATP win. "I feel great. Obviously I'm happy to get the 500th win under my belt. It's a great achievement and I'm very proud," Monfils said, per the ATP website.
"It's a blessing and I'm very happy about it." Monfils didn't think at the beginning of his career that he would achieve 500 ATP wins. "It's been a while I've been playing. To be honest just before coming here, I didn't really know that I was that close and now 500, if I think about it, it's a big number," Monfils said.
"It's been a lot of wins over the years. I never thought that when I started I would be at that amount of wins."