Monte-Carlo Masters 2023: Andrey Rublev outlasts Holger Rune to win maiden masters title

The 25-year-old world No.6 defeated the tenacious Dane 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 to be crowned the master of Monte Carlo in a three-set thriller.

Monte-Carlo Masters 2023: Andrey Rublev outlasts Holger Rune to win maiden masters title
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Andrey Rublev held off teenager Holger Rune 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 to win the Monte Carlo tennis Masters on Sunday (16 April).

A day after battling back against Taylor Fritz, the fifth-seeded 25-year-old rallied once more from a set down to claim his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title on the clay in Monaco.

Competing in much-improved conditions after yesterday’s rain-affected semi-finals, a back-and-forth opening set went the way of the 19-year-old Dane who saved seven of the eight break points he faced before breaking the frustrated Russian and taking the lead.

After leaving the court to vent, Rublev returned renewed breaking Rune in the opening game before going on to tighten his grip on the set, winning 6-2 in little over half an hour to bring things level.

The deciding set started in favour of Rune who surged to 4-1 lead. Things then looked all but done for Rublev when the teenager was presented with the chance to go 5-1 up and serve for the title.

But Rublev, playing in his second Monte-Carlo final in three years and desperate to clinch his first masters crown having been denied twice before, mounted another remarkable momentum swing to bring things back to serve.

At 5-5, Rune’s temper flared after an ill-time double fault handed the Russian the break leaving Rublev to serve for the match.

Speaking to broadcasters afterwards Rublev said:

I don’t know what to say, to be honest. I don’t know. I’m just happy. Finally after struggling so much to win a freaking 1000 tournament.

Losing 1-4, 0/30, then saving break points thinking that there’s no chance to win and then somehow I did it.

I was deep inside hoping that at least maybe I will have one chance. Maybe at least to try to play until the end.

Rublev, who tasted defeat in the 2021 Monte-Carlo final at the hands of Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas, said the loss helped shape his mental resilience in today's title-clash.

I remember the previous final mentally I was not ready and when I was losing I was thinking there’s no chance to win anymore and I was going mentally completely down and today I was [thinking] at least OK if you’re going to lose today at least please believe until the end and that’s what I was trying to do in the third set.

Rublev’s victory caps an impressive clay court campaign which he will hope will stand him in good stead ahead of next month's French Open.

11-time Monte Carlo winner Rafael Nadal was notably missing from this week's tournament as he continues to recover from the hip injury that has sidelined him since an early exit at January's Australian Open.



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