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By Richard Pagliaro | Sunday, January 7, 2024


Andrey Rublev did not drop serve stopping Emil Ruusuvuori, 6-4, 6-4, to capture his 15th career title, including 10th hard-court crown, in Hong Kong.

Photo credit: Bank of China Hong Kong Tennis Open

When it comes to tennis tactics, Andrey Rublev is not proficient playing the waiting game.

Rublev played fierce first-strike tennis to roar to his 15th career championship today.

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The top-seeded Rublev did not drop serve sweeping Emil Ruusuvuori, 6-4, 6-4, to capture his 15th career title at the Bank of China Hong Kong Tennis Open today.

Tennis Express

The 26-year-old Rublev served 69 percent, won 14 of 18 second-serve points and saved the lone break point he faced in a strong 77-minute victory.

"It is a great feeling," Rublev said. "I enjoyed my week a lot here.

"It is a great feeling to start the season with the title. I liked the city, the tournament and I played good tennis."

Rushed at times by the pace of Rublev's deep drives, Ruusuvuori committed 13 unforced errors against 13 winners and double-faulted four times.

It is Rublev's 10th career hard-court championship.

It comes six months after the baseliner from Helsinki, Finland out-dueled Rublev in their last encounter at the 2023 ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati, 7-6(10), 5-7, 7-6(3).

World No. 5 Rublev opened the tournament with a 6-4, 7-6(8) win over Liam Broady. Rublev went the distance defeating successive talented teenage opponents—he beat 19-year-old Frenchman Arthur Fils 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 in the quarterfinals then rallied past 18-year-old Shang Juncheng 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in Saturday's semifinals—before topping Ruusuvuori for the third time in four meetings.

It is Rublev's first title since he beat Casper Ruud on red clay to win Bastad last July. This is Rublev's first outdoor hard-court title since the 2022 Dubai.

"I played a good level of tennis the whole tournament," Rublev said. "I think I played a high level in the final. It will give me more confidence for Australian Open."

The former junior world No. 1 has reached the quarterfinals in two of his last three Australian Open appearances. Rublev lost to defending champion Novak Djokovic 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in the 2023 AO quarterfinals.


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