Russian Andrey Rublev set up his compatriot Daniil Medvedev semifinal showdown following a three-set win over Frenchman Benoit Paire at the Western and Southern Open 2021. Ahead of the World No.2 clash, World No.7 said it is an opportunity to improve his game.
Rublev defeated formidable opponent Paire at the quarterfinals after dropping a set (6-2, 3-6, 6-3) in an hour and 40 minutes. He fired 13 aces and won 84% first service points. In addition, Andrey leads Benoit 1-0 in their head-to-head series.
“It’s always tough to play against Benoit. First of all, he’s really talented, and he can play really great tennis. This week he was really pumped. He beat so many great players, top players, so I knew that he would go full force today”, Rublev said in the post-match interview.
Speaking about the second set, the 23-year-old Russian explained, “I think he began to enjoy the atmosphere, to play better, to serve better, and everything was going on. It was not easy to find the point to take (back) the advantage of the match. In the third set, I focussed on trying to be more calm, to not make stupid mistakes.”
“I’m Happy To Play Against Daniil Medvedev”, says Andrey Rublev
Moreover, Rublev will lock horns with four-time ATP Masters 1000 title winner Medvedev for a championship match spot in Cincinnati. Daniil leads Andrey 4-0 in their head-to-head record.
“I’m happy to play against him (Medvedev) because it’s a nice challenge for me to see what I need to improve because after losing to him previously, I always improve more and more. It’s going to be close, like (a) chess match, long rallies. I need to fight for every ball. We’ll see. It’s going to be interesting,” Rublev added.
Besides, top seed Daniil Medvedev reached the second consecutive Masters 1000 semifinals after steering past Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta without dropping a set(6-1, 6-1).
Talking ahead of the countryman clash, Medvedev said, “(There is) lots of intensity when you play Andrey. He has been playing great since the restart of tennis, only ups, so it is going to be a great match. Of course, I want to be on top.”
At the most recent meeting, Medvedev outlasted Rublev in straight sets(7-5, 6-3, 6-2) at the 2021 Australian Open quarter-final encounter.