Rising Russian star Andrey Rublev admitted it took him a few second to realize he had just won it all in Hamburg. Rublev, ranked at No. 14 in the world, edged out No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 3-6 7-5 in the Hamburg final to lift his third title of the season.
The Russian drew lots of attentions to his name earlier this year when he started the season with back-to-back titles captured in Doha and Adelaide. "It is an amazing feeling [to win an ATP 500 title],” Rublev said after winning it all in Hamburg, per the ATP website.
“I realised it only when they called double fault… a few seconds later I started to realise that it is over and I won. It is an amazing feeling. I am happy."
Rublev had no fear
No. 5 seed Rublev was determined to play his tennis against Tsitsipas and win the title.
The two players were tied at one game apiece in the first set but then breaks of serve were seen in three consecutive games. Rublev led 3-2 after the opening five games and then held on to his serve the rest of the set to win the first set.
Tsitsipas claimed the lone break of the second set in the fourth game to force a decider. Tsitsipas was on the verge of claiming a comeback win in the final but he failed to serve out for the match in the 10th game. Tsitsipas' game fell apart after failing to serve our for the match as Rublev won the 11th and 12th game to win the third set and claim the title.
"I was going on the court with no fear. The match was such a thriller," Rublev claimed. "[In the] third set he was twice with the break. I was a little bit lucky at 5-4… and I broke back. I think that was a little bit mental.
I think maybe Stefanos got a little disappointed inside that he didn’t make it and then at the end everything was so fast and I won”. Tsitsipas admitted losing the Hamburg final on the way he did wasn't easy.
"It is a pity. But that is what our sport is about,” Tsitsipas said. “It is all about fighting and at the end, the one who deserves it the most is the one that puts in the most hard work and dedication… I feel sad that I won’t walk away from here with the title, but I can’t wait to be back next year to do even better, hopefully”.