Andrey Rublev Ousts Rune In Thriller To Win Biggest Title Of Career In Monte Carlo - UBITENNIS
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Andrey Rublev Ousts Rune In Thriller To Win Biggest Title Of Career In Monte Carlo



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Andrey Rublev staged an emphatic fightback against Holger Rune to become the first Russian man to win the Monte Carlo Masters since 1990. 


The world No.7 recovered from a set down to prevail 5-7, 6-2, 7-5, over his 19-year-old rival in a marathon encounter that lasted more than two-and-a-half hours. Rublev found himself on the verge of defeat in the decider after falling behind 1-4 and then Rune had a point to get a double break. Despite the threat, he staged an epic comeback to draw level before going on to win the most prestigious Tour title in his career and his 13th overall. 

“I don’t know what to say, to be honest. I am just happy. Finally after struggling so much to win this fricking Masters 1000 tournament,” Rublev told TennisTV.
“Losing 4-1 (in the third set), 0-30, saving break points and thinking that I have no chance to win. Somehow I did it.” He added.

It is fitting that Monte Carlo has become the venue of Rublev’s first Master’s triumph given his history at the tournament. In 2021 he reached the final before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets. In his latest match against Rune, he hit a total of 30 winners against 23 unforced errors and saved four out of the eight break points he faced. 

“I remember the previous final. Mentally I was not ready. When I was losing I was thinking that I have no chance to win anymore and I was going completely down mentally,” the new champion said of his past misfortunes.
“Today I was thinking that if I lost, I have to at least believe (in myself) until the end. That’s what I tried to do in the third set, hoping that I had one extra chance to come back. In the end, I was able to do it.”

The Monte Carlo showdown was the second time the two players have locked horns on the Tour this year. Rublev also edged past Rune at the Australian Open by saving two match points before prevailing 11-9 in the final set tiebreaker. However, Rune won their first meeting at last year’s Paris Masters. 

Taking to the court, Rune battled his way through a roller-coaster opener which saw 12 break points opportunities, eight of which were in Rublev’s favour. The Dane appeared slightly weary following his late-night win over Jannik Sinner just 24 hours earlier. Nevertheless, he was the first player to break in the final by hitting a thunderous forehand return which moved him ahead 4-2. However, the lead was short-lived as Rublev broke back instantly to level proceedings once again. 

Matching each other game-by-game, the set looked destined for a tiebreaker before a stroke of luck in Rune’s favour occurred. Leading 6-5, 30-30, a shot from him brushed the baseline and forced his rival to return the ball into the net. Earning his first set point, the world No.9 then closed out the opener with the help of an error from Rublev. 

The cat-and-mouse chase continued into the second frame. After returning from a toilet break, Rublev went off guns blazing by breaking instantly for a 2-0 lead and was a point away from securing the double break but failed to seize that opportunity. Meanwhile, Rune once again weathered the storm as he clawed his way back to level 2-2 which visibly frustrated his opponent who at times glared towards his camp in the crowd. 

However, a relentless Rublev pushed ahead once more as he forced the match into the decider with Rune beginning to implode on the court by hitting a series of below-par shots. A three-game winning streak rewarded him the chance to serve the set out which he did with relative ease. 

Despite the blip, Rune came out fighting in the decider where he surged to a 4-1 lead before having a brief medical timeout to consume some tablets. Presumably, this was due to cramping. In the following game, he moved to a point away from a 5-1 lead before yet another twist unfolded with Rublev bouncing back yet again to level at 4-4.

The drama continued towards the closing stages with Rune being hit with a code violation for firing two tennis balls out of the stadium in anger after hitting two consecutive smashes into the net. Meanwhile, Rublev moved to a game from victory before sealing the win with an ace on his second championship point. Prompting him to drop to the floor in delight. 

“I know it’s tough to lose a final but, man, you’re too freaking young and you already have a Masters 1000 title, at least allow me to have this one,” Rublev said to Rune afterwards during the trophy ceremony. 

Rublev is only the third player in history to have won both his semi-final and final matches at the Monte Carlo Masters by recovering from a set down. The other two to do this were Illie Nastase in 1971 and Ivan Lendl in 1988. 


Team World One Win Away From Victory in Laver Cup

Team World take a huge 10-2 lead over Team Europe heading into the final day



Image via Laver Cup twitter

After losing the first four editions of the Laver Cup, Team World look set to win the event for a second time as the event reaches its conclusion tomorrow.


Team World Captain John McEnroe was thrilled with the day’s results but warned against complacency: “We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing. The job’s not done but we’re pretty close.”

American duo Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe both earned straight sets wins over Andrey Rublev and Hubert Hurkacz, while Felix Auger-Aliassime and Ben Shelton beat Hurkacz and Gael Monfils.

“I want to play well for the guys,” said Tiafoe after his singles victory. “I played really well tonight. Just being in a team environment is so foreign to us as tennis players, it’s such an individual sport.”

After winning his third singles match in three appearances at the Laver Cup, Fritz was also motivated to do well:

“Yesterday, all the guys played really well. I felt that and wanted to come out on court and show what I can do. That definitely motivated me. Any type of team environment, I feel like it always elevates my game. I feel like my record in team events is really strong because I have a team cheering for me. I get pumped up. I’m excited to play for them. It just adds more pressure and fire to it. I think I play better in those situations.”

The doubles was a typically dynamic and feisty affair, and after the match Shelton was full of praise for his partner:

“It’s amazing, when you play with a guy who serves and returns like Felix, is as athletic as him, and goes back for the overhead as strong as him, it’s a fun time,” said Shelton. “We call him ‘Laver Cup Felix’ because he turns into something special this week, just glad I got to share the court with him at least once.”

Auger-Aliassime returned the compliments: “The best comes out of me when I’m playing not only for myself but for team-mates. Ben carried me through the end of that match, it was tough for me to get it done.”

Casper Ruud, meanwhile, beat Tommy Paul for Europe’s only points so far.

Matches on the final day are worth three points each – meaning that Team Europe would have to win all four remaining matches to prevent Team World from winning the trophy.

T. Fritz def A. Rublev 6-2, 7-6
F. Tiafoe def H. Hurkacz 7-5, 6-3
F. Auger-Aliassime & B. Shelton def H.Hurkacz & G. Monfils 7-5, 6-4
C. Ruud def T. Paul 7-6, 6-2

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ATP RANKINGS UPDATE: Novak Djokovic, No.1 once more



After the US Open the Serbian champion reclaims top spot. Alexander Zverev is back in the Top 10


By Roberto Ferri

Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion”

Rudy Tomjanovich coined this maxim just after his Houston Rockets won the NBA championship in 1995. He was paying homage to Akeem Holajuwon. It perfectly suits the heart of Daniil Medvedev, who proved 99% of tennis fans in the world to be wrong, convinced as they were that he would lose the semifinal to former No 1 Carlos Alcaraz.

But his dream to win a second US Open, after his triumph in 2021, was shattered by another champion, whose heart and class is even greater: that’s Novak Djokovic, who affixes his seal on his return to No.1, equalling Margaret Court Smith’s record of 24 majors.

Djokovic dethroning Alcaraz is not the only change in the top 20: Sascha Zverev is back in the top 10 after almost one year and Ben Shelton, great protagonist of the Us Open, debuts in the top 20 best players in the world.

TOP 20

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A few comments:

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrei Rublev and Alexander Zverev gain 2 positions.

Ben Shelton devours 28 positions.

Sinner, Tiafoe, Norrie and Dimitrov lose one.

Casper Ruud and Karen Khachanov, runner up and semi-finalist respectively  at the 2022 US  Open, drop 4 positions.

One step forward for Fritz, de Minaur, Paul, Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz.


From 12 to 19 November the 8 best players of the ranking based on the points earned in the ongoing solar season will be playing the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin.

Will Novak Djokovic succeed in winning a second straight title? He appears to be heading in the right direction.


Thanks to his triumph at the US Open the Serbian overtakes Alcaraz also in the Race to Turin.

Jannik Sinner holds fourth spot while Andrei Rublev overtakes Stefanos Tsitsipas and is now fifth.

The eighth position is occupied by Alexander Zverev.

Last year runner up, Casper Ruud is currently 10th. This means he would feature in Turin as a reserve.


The Next Gen Finals, dedicated to the best under 21s, (8 effectives and 2 reserves) of the season will take place this year in Gedda, Saudi Arabia.

The 2022 winner, Brandon Nakashima, will not be defending his title, since he was born in 2001.

PositionPlayerCountryPtsYOB ATP rank
6Van AsscheFrance597200469
12Llamas RuizSpain3702002133

Taking for granted that Alcaraz and, most likely Rune, will be playing the ATP Finals, we have included in the chart the 12 current top under 21s.


Besides Ben Shelton, other 11 players have achieved their career highest this week.

We tribute a double applause to the four players who are making their debut in the top 100.

The 25-year-old Croatian Borna Gojo, 22-year-old Australian Rinky Hijkata and the Swiss next gen Dominic Stricker all reap the reward for their brilliant runs at the US Open. Seyboth Wild, the Brazilian who stunned Medvedev in the first round of Roland Garros leaps to No.76 after winning the Challenger in Como last week.

Seyboth Wild76Brazil30

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

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COMMENT: Novak Djokovic Proves His Greatness At US Open



Love him, or hate him. But respect him.


No tennis player has ever been better than Novak Djokovic.

Even Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer have to take their hats off to Novak, and admire him.

Now that Rafa and Roger have left Djokovic on his own stage at least for now, tennis fans love Novak.


Djokovic’s performance on Sunday evening in the U.S. Open final was simply amazing. Daniil Medvedev also played his heart out, but Djokovic went one step further. He was sensational.

It was a thrill-a-minute three-set match. It lasted well into the night after starting at mid-afternoon. The second set alone lasted 104 minutes.

Djokovic was the winner, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3, but New York still loves 2021 champion Medvedev.


At 36, the oldest U.S. Open men’s champion ever, Djokovic obviously has a special place in his heart for the number four. It’s the number of times he has won this tournament and the 24th time he has won a Grand Slam title.

The number 24 also was displayed prominently on the white jacket. Novak, his team members and family wore for the victory celebration as a tribute to the No. 24 jersey of deceased friend Kobe Bryant.

Djokovic lost his footing at least three times in the tight second set, stumbling to the surface once, apparently due to the length of the rallies.

Djokovic could look like he was almost completely wiped out of it physically one minute, and then play like Superman the next minute.


Both men played great tennis, especially in the thrill-a-second second set in which Medvedev gained one set point in the 12th game before Djokovic recovered to force a tiebreaker.

Medvedev appeared to be in charge after out-playing Novak to win one of his drop shots to take a 5-4 lead in the tiebreaker. The match may have been decided on the next three points, all won by Djokovic on errors by the 6-6 Russian.

The big question now is what happens next January in the Australian Open. Right now, Djokovic probably wants to play . . . and win what has been his favorite tournament as far as success. But things can change quickly for players in their mid-30s. Just ask Roger or Rafa.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at

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