Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev was happy with the way he performed against world No. 3 Dominic Thiem at the Nitto ATP Finals but the Russian acknowledged that the Austrian's bad start also helped him. Rublev, who is enjoying a career-high ranking of No.
8 in the world, cruised past Thiem in his final Round Robin match at The O2 Arena as he saw off the Austrian 6-2 7-5. Rublev made a perfect start to the match as he claimed back-to-back breaks to take a 4-0 first-set lead, before routinely serving out for the opener in the eighth game.
Early in the second set, Rublev claimed his third break of the match but he couldn't hold on to his serve as Thiem got his first break of the match in the eighth game to level the second set at four games apiece. However, Rublev kept his focus as he claimed his fourth break of the match in the 11th game, before serving out for the match in the 12th game of the second set.
"I started really well, since the first point, the first return. I think Domi didn't start that well and I took advantage since the beginning," Rublev said after the match, per TENNIS.com. "That helped me to have more confidence, helped me to play better and better and be more released.
I think he also focused already for the semis and I wish him the best of luck. He deserves to be where he is."
Rublev happy with his season
Rublev, who kicked off his season with back-to-back victories in Doha and Adelaide, finishes season with five titles claimed in 2020.
"I cannot complain," he told press at the ATP Finals. "I won so many tournaments that I never won before. This year, I won more tournaments than in my career. I won more matches than in my career. I became Top 10 for the first time, so this season was amazing for me."
Rublev, who was making his debut at the Nitto ATP Finals, lost to Rafael Nadal in his opener at the tournament, before narrowly losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas in his second match. "It is a great experience because this event gives you chances to play against the best players and you have to use all of them," Rublev said. "Still I have to play my maximum because it is the best players and I need to perform my best."