Passed through the first round, Andrey Rublev had to save five match points before winning against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in Dubai. Alexander Zverev, meanwhile, got the better of Christopher O’Connell in straight sets when Félix Auger-Aliassime fell to Lorenzo Sonego.
Andrey Rublev is not far from the disaster. Opposed to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the round of 16 of the Dubai ATP tournament, the Russian was completely absent during the first round. Having lost her first two service games, the No. 3 seed was unable to raise her head enough to reverse the trend. Led a set to nothing, Andrey Rublev tightened the game against an opponent less able to put him in difficulty. The result of twelve games without a break point was a decisive play that Alejandro Davidovich Fokina had long believed he could turn in his favor. Winning six of the first seven exchanges, the Spaniard offered himself the trifle of five match points.
It was then that Andrey Rublev totally woke up. Winning seven points in a row, he overturned the tiebreak to restart the match. The last round was very similar to the previous one with the only difference being two break points missed by the Russian in the fifth game. Again, a decisive game was necessary to decide between the two players. Andrey Rublev took the lead this time but had to wait for his third match point to conclude (1-6, 7-6, 7-6 in 2h27′). In the quarter-finals, he will find Botic van de Zandschulp, who beat Mikaei Ymer (3-6, 6-3, 6-3 in 2h34′).
A.Zverev less in difficulty
After a complicated start against Jiri Lehecka, Alexander Zverev had to fight less to dominate Christopher O’Connell, from qualifying. However, the seeded number 7 fell on a brave opponent who, from the first exchanges, left few openings. The result was a succession of ten games without a single break point to report. However, the situation changed in the wake of an air pocket from the Australian. Indeed, the 92nd in the world conceded his service on a white game and allowed Alexander Zverev to engage to win the first set. Again, it is without conceding a single point that the 16th player in the world sealed the fate of the round.
The second set started on the same basis as the first, that is to say with two players absolutely not in the hard service. Indeed, set of the first eight games were won white by the one who engaged. A relative ease that flew on the face-off of Christopher O’Connell. After being able to dismiss the first three break points, the Australian finally cracked. In the process, Alexander Zverev did not ask for his rest, ending the duel on the second match point (7-5, 6-4 in 1h20 ‘).
Sonego sounds Auger-Aliassime
For the German, the path to the last four will go through a confrontation with Lorenzo Sonego. The Italian created a nice surprise by overcoming the tournament’s number 4 seed, Félix Auger-Aliassime. A meeting that very quickly turned into a showdown between the two players. Indeed, none of them dropped the slightest point on his serve. A first round which, in the absence of the slightest opportunity for a break, had to end in the decisive game.
Winning a point on the service of “FAA”, Lorenzo Sonego made the race in the lead before seeing the Canadian erase his delay at the very last moment. However, the 67th in the world went for two points in a row on the opposing service to pocket this hung first set. The second started in the same vein but the Italian very quickly showed that he was better armed than his opponent. After missing a first break point in the third game, it was in the seventh that the Italian struggled to take the serve of Félix Auger-Aliassime. An advantage which proved definitive for Lorenzo Sonego, who concluded with the first match point (7-6, 6-4 in 1h56 ‘).