Andrey Rublev said there was no way he could allow himself to again lose to Daniil Medvedev the same way he lost to his fellow compatriot at the 2020 US Open.
On Monday, Rublev kicked off his ATP Finals campaign with a 6-7 (7) 6-3 7-6 (7) win over Medvedev.
In the first set, Rublev had a 5-3 lead – two consecutive set points at 6-5 – also had a 6-2 lead in the tie-break – but still lost the first set after blowing a total of seven set points.
After blowing multiple chances to win the first set, Rublev was able to keep his composure and escape with a three-set win.
In the 2020 US Open quarterfinal, Rublev blew multiple set points in the first set and Medvedev ended up winning their match in three sets.
Rublev on beating Medvedev at the ATP Finals
“I was thinking about the US Open, because when we played in the quarter-finals in 2020, I think I was 5/1 in a tie-break, also something like 6/2, but I was leading something similar in a tie-break. But when I lost that set, I couldn’t play anymore, and I was thinking it cannot happen the same [again], I have to change something. I have to keep playing, because if I win one set, even if I lose in three sets, it’s still good, because here you have a group. So you have to fight for every point, every game, and I was able to win. The final tie-break, the rallies that we had there were crazy. The last rally, we had I don’t know, 30 shots. I was cramping a bit already, but I was thinking ‘One more, one more. You have to keep playing. For sure he felt the same, so just keep playing if you have the chance, just go for it’. In the end I was able to win,” Rublev said after the match, per the ATP Finals website.
Rublev, who didn’t make it past the group stage in his first two ATP Finals appearances, has gotten off to strong start to this year’s edition of the prestigious season-ending tournament.