No. 4 seed Andrey Rublev noted it's never easy to play against Benoit Paire after beating the former world No. 18 at the Cincinnati Masters. Rublev, ranked at No. 7 in the world, overcame world No. 50 Paire in three sets 6-2 3-6 6-3 to reach the Cincinnati semifinal.
Rublev made a great start to the match, having broken Paire in the first and seventh game to comfortably win the opener. After easily losing the opener, Paire responded as he claimed his first break of the match in the fourth game of the second set and held on to his serve the rest of the way to force a decider.
In the decider, Rublev failed to convert any of his four break points chances in the sixth game but broke Paire in the eighth for a 5-3 lead, before serving out for the match in the following game.
Rublev spoke positively of Paire
“It's always tough to play against Benoit,” Rublev said, per the ATP website.
“First of all, he's really talented and he can play really great tennis. This week he was really pumped, he beat so many great players, top players, so I knew that he would go full force today. "I think he began to enjoy the atmosphere, to play better to serve better and everything was going in," Rublev said of Paire's second-set turnaround.
"It was not easy to find the point to take [back] the advantage of the match. In the third set I focussed on trying to be more calm, to not make stupid mistakes." Rublev will be fighting against fellow compatriot Daniil Medvedev for a place in the Cincinnati final..
Medvedev dropped a total of two games against Pablo Carreno Busta in the Cincinnati quarterfinal but Rublev insists he is happy to play the top seed. “I'm happy to play against him [Medvedev], because it's a nice challenge for me to see what I need to improve, because after losing to him previously, I always improve more and more," Rublev added.
"It's going to be close, like [a] chess match, long rallies. I need to fight for every ball. We'll see. It's going to be interesting."