Andrey Rublev 'happy' with his start to clay season

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Andrey Rublev 'happy' with his start to clay season

Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev was happy with the way he kicked off his clay season as on Wednesday he handed a straight-set defeat to Salvatore Caruso. Rublev, seeded at No. 6 in the Monte Carlo Masters main draw, dropped just five games en route to collecting a 6-3 6-2 win over qualifier Caruso.

Rublev made a perfect start to the match, having taken an early 3-0 lead. Rublev failed to convert any of his two break points in the sixth game but routinely served out for the opener in the ninth game. In the second set, the Russian earned two breaks and lost no service games to book a straight-set win.

“I am happy with my game for the first match of the clay season,” said Rublev in his post-match interview. “I was a little bit tight because obviously I didn’t practise a lot on clay and I didn’t play matches before.

“Caruso was playing [from] qualifying, so he [had got] used to the clay already and on clay he is really dangerous. I am really happy that I could win in straight sets”.

Rublev makes the third round in Monte Carlo

Rublev will be fighting against either Roberto Bautista Agut or Tommy Paul for a place in the Monte Carlo round-of-16.

Rublev's previous appearance came at the Miami Masters, where he made the semifinal before suffering a surprise defeat to eventual champion Hubert Hurkacz. Hurkacz, who beat Jannik Sinner in the final to lift his maiden Masters title, beat Rublev in the semifinal 6-3 6-4.

“It means a lot, especially after winning a title at the beginning of the year, I had a couple of rough matches,” Hurkacz said after beating Rublev. "So I’m so happy that I came over and I was still trying to improve my game and trying to be a better player. This is really huge for me."