Andrey Rublev has matched Novak Djokovic’s record of 4 titles this season, when he beat Borna Coric in the finals of the St Petersburg Open, and press for a place in the ATP Tour Finals at the O2 next month.
I think this one is the most special for me, for the moment, and will always be special Andrey Rublev
The Russian, playing in front of his home crowd, beat the 23-year-old Coric, 7-6(5) 6-4 for his sixth career title and second title on home soil having won in Moscow last year.
Rublev, who turns 23 on Tuesday, has won 14 of his last 15 matches and his recent run has put him in a position for a season-ending spot in London.
“I know I have a really good chance to qualify, but still it is not 100 per cent yet,” Rublev commented. “This year, I didn’t expect that I would have a chance, so in the end nothing is going to change for me. Even if I don’t make it, the season was really good for me anyway. If I make it, it is really good news. One chance to compete against the best players, to do my best.”
He was also happy with his performance in his latest final.
“I feel happy. This one is really special for me,” Rublev said after closing out the match in 99-minutes. “I think this one is the most special for me, for the moment, and will always be special.
“I am proud and I am happy with the way I am performing,” he added. “I try not to think about it. I try to focus on the things I still need to improve, because there are so many things I can improve and I have to improve if I want to be at the same level or even better.”
Meanwhile Coric, who had also lost year’s St Petersburg final to Daniil Medvedev, had been hoping to improve on that result but admitted he wasn’t allowed to develop his own game on court by the relentless pressure Rublev put on him.
“It’s not very easy against him to play any tactics because he just doesn’t give you space to do anything. He plays very fast, serves unbelievably good. I had some of my tactics, but at the same time, I felt like I could not really do it,” the Croat said.
“He was the better player today; he was playing great tennis. Yeah, I was a little bit unlucky there [at 5-2 in the first-set tiebreak]. I missed 2 or 3 shots by [not very] much, but that’s tennis. That’s how it goes. It was a good level of tennis, I think. I was serving very good today, the best in the whole tournament I think, from my side at least.”
Coric concluded: “When I go back home I can train even more, I can train harder, Next year I will come back for sure and hopefully I can win.”