Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev made a winning start to his campaign at the Barcelona Open but afterward felt angry. Rublev, ranked at No. 7 in the world, handed a 6-4 6-3 loss to Italian Federico Gaio in his opener at the tournament.
Rublev saved two break points in the ninth game of the first set, before claiming the first break of the match in the following game to win the opener. Gaio earned his first break of the match in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead but his lead was short-lived as Rublev broke back in the following game to level the set at two games apiece.
Rublev then broke Gaio in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead, before serving out for the match in the following game.. "It was more mental today,” said Rublev, per the ATP website. “It was the way I was behaving after what I was trying to do in Monte-Carlo.
I got the win, which is the most important thing, but I do feel angry. When you’re not thinking, you’re always trying to find excuses, but I need to control my emotions”.
Rublev plays next Albert Ramos-Vinolas
Rublev will be fighting against home favorite Ramos-Vinolas for a place in the Barcelona quarterfinal.
Elsewhere, rising Canadian star Felix Auger-Aliassime recovered from a set down to beat Lorenzo Musetti 4-6 6-3 6-0. "I had chances in the second set to break him, but I didn’t convert those chances,” said Musetti.
“I then started to feel sore in the lower back and it got worse and worse. I couldn’t play, but I don’t like to retire. When I served, I couldn’t turn my shoulder and it was painful. I am a little bit disappointed and sad. I played a good first set and now I will rest”.