No. 2 seed Andrey Rublev claimed a routine straight-set win over Taro Daniel to progress into the Belgrade semifinal but afterward he felt stressed because the playing conditions were tricky. Rublev, ranked at No. 8 in the world, saw off Daniel 6-3 6-3 in the Belgrade quarterfinal.
Daniel led 3-2 after the opening five games of the match, before Rublev claimed back-to-back breaks to win four games in a row and seal the opener. After winning the first set, Rublev broke Daniel in the fourth game of the second set and held on to his serve the rest of the way to clinch a straight-set win.
“I was a bit stressed because the weather was really tough,” Rublev said after his victory, per the ATP website. “The conditions were so windy, the ball was moving a lot, so I needed to slow down, take more care.
I felt I was playing well, I felt like I had control of the ball and I couldn’t take that many risks because of the wind. “But then with time, I started to adapt, to take the moments when there was not much wind and I started to try to play more aggressive.
In the end it worked”.
Rublev not taking Fabio Fognini for granted
Rublev will be battling experienced clay courter Fognini for a place in the Belgrade semifinal. “It’s going to be tough,” said Rublev of the Fognini clash.
“Fabi, he’s super talented, he can play amazing and it’s going to be a tough match with a lot of long rallies, so I just need to do my best and we will see what happens”. Rublev and Fognini are no strangers to each other as they are set to meet for the 10th time.
Rublev, who has won the last three meetings versus Fognini, leads the head-to-head versus the Italian 5-4. It remains to be seen if Rublev can clinch his fourth consecutive win over Fognini.