Andrey Rublev stormed into the sixth semifinal of the season at the Halle Open 2021 following a straight-sets(7-6, 6-2) win over German Philipp Kohlschreiber. After 81 minutes of rallies against a wild card entrant, the red-hot Russian said that his aggressive game helps him play well on the grass surface.
“I have adapted to the grass, but there are so many things I can still improve on the grass, for example, with the slice, the volley, and moving better. Also, defending on grass, because it is different, you can’t defend with high balls like on clay, so I think I am still far away,” Rublev said in the post-match interview.
Former World No.16 Kohlschreiber reached the Halle Open championship matches in 2008 and 2011. Even though German failed at the first attempt, stalwart claimed the title on the second attempt.
The Moscowian continued, “In general, though, because my game is to play aggressively. If you play aggressive, this helps you a lot on grass, so I think my game for this surface is ok. Philipp Kohlschreiber is good on this surface, so this match has given me confidence.”
“I Would Have Liked To Have Great Results In Paris”, says Andrey Rublev
Rublev is one of the best performers of the season and was one of the favourites to win the tournament in Roland Garros this year. But he surprisingly fell in the first round to German Jan-Lennard Struff.
When asked about his French Open defeat, Rublev explained, “The past is the past; I can’t change it. I would have liked to have great results in Paris, but I played a tough opponent in Jan-Lennard Struff in the first round. Now I try to focus on the grass with Halle, where I am in the semi-finals and trying to do my best.”
Andrey Rublev fired nine aces and won 80% of first-serve points in the quarterfinal against Philipp Kohlschreiber.
“I think I was playing really well today. I was feeling the ball well. And I was confident in my shots and my serve. In the tie-break, he had a mini-break and had good chances, but straight away, I told myself just to keep playing and fighting, and in the end, I somehow managed to turn it around,” Russian added.
No.4 seed Rublev will now face Qatar Open and Bavarian Open champion Nikoloz Basilashvili for a final spot of the ATP 500 event in Halle. Both of them are equal(2-2) in their head-to-head series.
“It will be a tough task against Nikoloz Basilashvili in the semi-finals as he hits the ball flat on the grass,” World No.7 confessed.
Most notably, Russian ousted Georgian in their latest two meetings. It will be the first meeting between them on Grass.