Shanghai | Rublev and Hurkacz make final

Both Andrey Rublev and Hubert Hurkacz have reached the final of the Rolex Shanghai Masters being played in the city’s Qi Zhong Tennis Centre where the eventual champion will pick up US$1,262,220 cheque and help individual qualification hopes for the ATP Finals in Turin with 1,000 rankings points.

I’m thinking only to rest and try to recover for tomorrow, because Hubi is so tough to play, Andrey Rublev

The runner up will be able to ease their disappointment with a cheque for US$662,300 and 500 ranking points.

The pair made the title round with straight set victories over their semi-final opponents with Rublev, the fifth seed, having the tougher match against Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, requiring two-hours and 45-minutes to secure his 7-6(7) 6-3 victory over a good friend.

The Russian had to save a set point in the first set which lasted 76-minutes and, after claiming the tie-break, went 2-0 down in the second before gaining full control of the semi.


:Andrey Rublev commiserates with his friend Grigor Dimitrov

(Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)

“It’s not easy when you win matches against friends, because you feel both sides,” Rublev admitted. “You feel sad, but at the same time you want to win. It’s a mix of feelings.”

There was one occasion when Dimitrov queried a possible net cord when Rublev was serving at 3-2 which he claimed the umpire and his electronic aid had missed but the lack of call was not reversed. Rublev then offered to replay the point but the Bulgarian turned that down.

“I feel sorry for the situation in the tie-break at 3-2, because I wanted to replay the point,” Rublev added. “Grigor behaved like a real champion and said, ’It’s not [your fault], so he gave me the point. Maybe because of this point I was able to win the tie-break.”

At 2-0 down, Rublev won five consecutive games to get within a game of victory as Dimitrov started to flag.


Hubert Hurkacz has an excellent record of final wins

(Photo by Qian Jun/MB Media/Getty Images)

Earlier, Hurkacz, seeded 16, eased into his third career Masters final by beating American 26th seed Sebastian Korda 6-3 6-4.

“I’m just really happy with my performance today,” said Hurkacz following his 76-minute win. “I was serving well, playing some good groundstrokes and definitely putting pressure on Sebi from the ground.

And having reached the final, Hurkacz revealed some of his tactics.

“I’m working on being difficult to play against,” Hurkacz said on reaching his 8th career final and the chance of picking up his second title at Masters level.

“It’s the same with every opponent. They try to come out with their best foot forward that day and they’re trying to [implement] their tactics or plan against you. You’ve just got to stay mentally strong and really battle.”

Hurkacz has a good record in finals having won six of the seven ha has played but with Rublev also showing some excellent form, the final could prove an exciting encounter and one fit for a Masters Level event.

Rublev has yet to drop a set in Shanghai as he also attempts to win his second Masters title.

“I’m thinking only to rest and try to recover for tomorrow, because Hubi is so tough to play,” Rublev said ahead of his 4th Masters final. “He’s one of the players that you don’t want to face because he can beat everyone.

“With his style of game, the way he serves, the way he hits the ball — we’ll see; I just want to take my time to recover and to be as [ready] as possible for tomorrow.”


Hubert Hurkacz proved too strong for Sebastian Korda (L)

(Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)


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