Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev was happy he was able to win a doubles title with Ukraine's Denys Molchanov. Rublev, 24, has known Molchanov for a decade and on Sunday they captured the Marseille doubles title after beating Raven Klaasen and Ben McLachlan 4-6 7-5 10-7.
“When I was 15 I started to play Futures around Russia and Denys was there,” Rublev said, per the ATP website. “We both spoke Russian and he was a big guy and I was just a kid, so he was taking me with him to dinner and to do things”.
Molchanov on winning with Rublev
“It is a really special moment for me,” Molchanov said. “I have been playing this sport for a while and this is a big title for me. I have won a lot of [ATP] Challenger Tour titles, but this is different for me.
When we were younger, we trained in the same place. I was helping him in the beginning and now Andrey is helping me”. It was a double delight for Rublev in Marseille as earlier in the day he beat Felix Auger-Aliassime in the Marseille singles final.
It was a tight contest between the two but Rublev escaped with a 7-5 7-6 (4) win over Auger-Aliassime. Rublev, who was beaten by Auger-Aliassime in the Rotterdam semifinal the week earlier, now leads the head-to-head against the Canadian 3-1.
"All the battles I have had with Felix since the first time back in 2018 have had drama,” Rublev said in his on-court interview. “All have had at least one set that went 7-6 and now he is one of the greatest players.
Especially this season, he is on top now. It was a pleasure to share a court with him and have an amazing final like this”. Rublev was playing his third tournament of the season. Previously, Rublev made the Australian Open third round and reached the semifinal in Rotterdam. Rublev is now set to play in Dubai this week. Rublev faces Dan Evans in his Dubai opener.