World No. 8 Andrey Rublev couldn't hide his happiness after making his maiden Masters final in Monte Carlo. Rublev, 23, handed a straight-set defeat to top-ranked Norwegian tennis player Casper Ruud 6-3 7-5 in the Monte Carlo Masters semifinal on Saturday.
Ruud claimed the first break of the match in the third game to take a 2-1 lead but his lead was short-lived as Rublev responded with back-to-back breaks to take a 5-2 lead, before serving out for the match in the ninth game.
Ruud lost the opening two games of the second set but claimed back-to-back breaks to take a 4-2 lead. However, Rublev kept his focus as he then earned two breaks to overturn the deficit and book a straight-set win. “It is an amazing feeling.
It is my first [ATP Masters 1000] final, so I am really happy,” Rublev said in his post-match interview, per the ATP website. “We will see what is going to happen [in the final]. I will try to do my best”.
Rublev praised Ruud
“Casper is a really amazing player, especially on clay,” Rublev said.
“Since the beginning he put a really high intensity [on the court] and was really tough. I knew that I needed to raise my level if I wanted to fight against him, because if I [did] not raise the level I [would] lose for sure.
“He started [by going] up with the break and I felt like I needed to raise my level, raise my speed [and] hit harder. Otherwise, I had no chance. I started to do it and then I started to play better and he started to miss a bit more.
I think that was the key”. Russian tennis star Rublev will be fighting against world No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas for his maiden Masters title.
It remains to be seen if Rublev can claim his maiden Masters title on Sunday.