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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday October 30, 2020

 
Andrey Rublev

Andrey Rublev won his 13th consecutive match at the 500-level, taking out Dominic Thiem in straight sets in Vienna.

Photo Source: AP

Make no mistake about it: Andrey Rublev is the man when it comes to winning 500-level ATP matches in 2020. The Hamburg and St. Petersburg champion has stretched his streak to 13 consecutive wins at 500-level tournaments, and eight overall in ATP matches, by defeating defending Vienna championship Dominic Thiem, 7-6(5), 6-2 on Friday at the Erste Bank Open.

Tennis Express

Rublev’s remarkable run of form in 2020 leaves the Russian with a 37-7 record overall, and he’s on the fast track to qualifiy for this year’s prestigious ATP finals in London. The 23-year-old hasn’t locked up his spot just yet, but he sits firmly in seventh, and added 90 points to his total today.

Friday’s heavily anticipated contest between the No.2 and No.3 seeds started out with both players firing on all cylinders, but after Rublev rallied for three straight points in the first set tiebreaker, he found himself with two set points.

He would take the second, hammering one of his 11 aces on the evening down the T to lock up a set that featured 29 winners between the two players (16 for Rublev, 13 for Thiem).


The No.8-ranked Russian was home free from that point as Thiem struggled with a right foot injury and really wasn’t himself once Rublev scored the critical break for 2-1 in the second set.

Thiem was clearly hobbled and took off his shoe during one changeover late in the set to rub the underside of his right foot. But the Austrian soldiered on and stayed on court, taking pokes at Rublev with big strikes even though he really couldn’t manage to hang with the Russian in lengthy rallies.

Not fully at 100 percent, and against Rublev in bristling form, Thiem could only manage one more service hold. The contest finished without drama in 94 minutes, setting up a semi-final clash between Rublev and Kevin Anderson, the resurgent South African who took out Daniil Medvedev in straight sets in Friday’s first quarterfinal in Vienna.

Later today Novak Djokovic will face Lorenzo Sonego in a top half quarterfinal, which will then be followed by the evening’s last contest between Grigor Dimitrov and Dan Evans.

 

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