ATP

Medvedev and Zverev fall at the first hurdle as Murray succumbs to Rublev

By Sports Desk March 03, 2021

Andy Murray slumped to defeat to Andrey Rublev at the Rotterdam Open, where both Alexander Zverev and top seed Daniil Medvedev crashed out in Wednesday's action.

Rublev – defeated by Medvedev in the Australian Open quarter-finals – booked his place in the last eight with a clinical 7-5 6-2 victory over the former world number one. 

The world number eight hailed Murray as a "true legend" ahead of the clash, with the Russian and Scot having previously met only once before. 

Murray, then at the peak of his powers, came out on top in the second round of the 2017 Australian Open, thought it was a far different story this time around, Rublev dispatching his opponent with relative ease. 

Rublev saved all three break points that Murray managed to create during proceedings, breaking twice in the second set before wrapping up the win at the first opportunity.

Dusan Lajovic put in an impressive display as he registered a 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 victory over Medvedev. 

A run to the Rotterdam final would have moved Medvedev up to world number two, yet the Australian Open runner-up was well shy of his best. 

The Russian led by a break in the first set, only for Lajovic to hit back to square things up at 3-3, with the Serbian winning the tie-break when Medvedev double-faulted. 

Lajovic looked to have the odds stacked against him early in the second set, yet ultimately fought back again following another unforced error from the world number three to claim his second career win over Medvedev.

Lajovic will now face Borna Coric to tee up a tie with Kei Nishikori, who followed up his opening win over Felix Auger-Aliassime by beating Alex de Minaur 6-3 2-6 7-5 to clinch a quarter-final spot. 

The other shock result during the day came in the form of world number seven Zverev losing 7-5 6-3 to Alexander Bublik. 

It was the biggest win of Bublik's career, with the world number 43 - a finalist at the Singapore Open on Sunday - having now triumphed in his last three matches against top-10 opponents. 

Zverev was playing for the first time since a quarter-final defeat to Novak Djokovic in Melbourne last month. 

Bublik will face American Tommy Paul in the next round, while David Goffin beat Jan-Lennard Struff and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina got the better of compatriot Roberto Bautista Agut. 

Related items

  • De Minaur beats Korda to capture Libema Open crown De Minaur beats Korda to capture Libema Open crown

    Alex de Minaur overcame Sebastian Korda in straight sets to win the Libema Open title on Sunday, clinching a career-high placing in the ATP rankings in the process.

    The Australian needed one hour and 31 minutes on court to defeat Korda 6-2 6-4, meaning he triumphed at 's-Hertogenbosch without dropping a set in any round.

    Back-to-back breaks got De Minaur through the opener, and though Korda hit straight back following another break early in the second, De Minaur kept the pressure on and got his reward in the sixth game.

    De Minaur forced 14 break points overall while saving four of the six he faced, with Korda producing 26 unforced errors in an erratic performance.

    Data Debrief: De Minaur enjoying productive year

    After beating Casper Ruud to win the Mexican Open final in February, De Minaur has won multiple ATP crowns in a single year for the third time, also triumphing at Sydney, Atlanta and Zhuha in 2019 and in Antalya and Eastbourne in 2021.

    He had already clinched a new career-high ATP ranking of eighth with his semi-final win over Ugo Humbert, but he will now rise to seventh on Monday after lifting the trophy.

  • Raducanu turns down Olympic spot, Murray in squad Raducanu turns down Olympic spot, Murray in squad

    Emma Raducanu has turned down the chance to compete at the 2024 Olympics for Great Britain after being offered a wildcard spot by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).

    Two-time Olympic gold medallist Andy Murray was also offered a spot and will compete in what could be the final tournament of his career.

    Two spots are reserved for former Grand Slam winners, but Raducanu, the 2021 US Open champion, has decided against going to Paris as she continues her comeback from injury.

    Raducanu is ranked too low to automatically qualify after wrist and ankle surgery last year forced her away from the sport.

    She also missed the French Open, played on the same courts that will stage the Olympics, earlier this year to ensure she would be fit for the grass-court swing of the season.

    Iain Bates, head of GB's Olympic tennis team, said: "I have had various conversations with Emma over the last couple of weeks and a slightly longer period where it's very clear how much being part of a British team at an Olympics would mean to her.

    "I think she feels this isn't going to be the right timing for her for this summer.

    "She's hopefully got many Olympics ahead of her. I'm very comfortable with the decision that she's made."

    Meanwhile, Murray, who won gold in London 2012 and Rio 2016, will compete in his fifth Olympic Games and has been named alongside debutants Jack Draper, Cam Norrie and Dan Evans.

    Katie Boulter is also set to make her Olympic debut as the only British woman to qualify by ranking for the Games.

    The ITF will announce the full entry list for Paris 2024 on July 4.

  • Jabeur edged out by Pliskova in Nottingham Open quarter-finals Jabeur edged out by Pliskova in Nottingham Open quarter-finals

    Ons Jabeur pushed Karolina Pliskova all the way in their delayed quarter-final match, but it was the Czech that came out on top.

    After rain delayed the match on Friday, and start of play on Saturday, a tough battle ensued, but Pliskova reached her third semi-final of the season with a 7-6 (10-8), 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 win.

    Pliskova edged the first set on the tie-break before Jabeur forced a decider with an equally impressive win in the second.

    Despite going toe-to-toe once more in the third, Pliskova just did enough to hold off top-seed Jabeur, getting a vital break to set up a meeting with Diane Parry.

    Meanwhile, Emma Raducanu advanced to her first semi-final since 2022 after receiving a walkover from Francesca Jones, but her match against Katie Boulter was suspended due to rain after the first set, which lasted an incredible 80 minutes.

    In 's-Hertogenbosch, Bianca Andreescu will play in the Libema Open final after her straight-sets 6-4, 6-2 victory over Dalma Galfi on Friday, earning a place in her first final of the season.

    Data Debrief: Jabeur unable to stop the break

    Jabeur had the opportunity to win seven break points during the quarter-final, but had a measly 14 per cent conversion rate (1/7). Pliskova, meanwhile, won half of hers (2/4).

    The Czech also won 94 per cent of her service games (17/18), just one more than Jabeur. It was the fine margins that won out in Nottingham.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.