Andrey Rublev added a third trophy to his impressive 2020 collection on Sunday, beating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 at the Hamburg European Open.
The World No. 14 rallied from 3-5 down in the deciding set to earn his first ATP 500 trophy. Rublev was appearing in his second straight Hamburg final, after falling in three sets to defending champion Nikoloz Basilashvili in last year’s championship match.
“It is an amazing feeling [to win an ATP 500 title],” said Rublev. “I realised it only when they called double fault… a few seconds later I started to realise that it is over and I won. It is an amazing feeling. I am happy.”
The Moscow native is the second player to win three or more tour-level titles this season. Rublev moves clear of two-time 2020 tournament winners Cristian Garin and Gael Monfils to take sole ownership of second place on this year’s titles leaderboard.
Multiple ATP Tour Titles In 2020
Australian Open, Dubai, W&S Open, Rome
Doha, Adelaide, Hamburg
Cordoba, Rio de Janeiro
After winning one of his first three ATP Tour finals, Rublev has claimed victory in his past four championship matches. The 22-year-old won his home tournament in Moscow last year, before lifting back-to-back trophies at the start of 2020 in Doha and Adelaide. Rublev became the first man since Dominik Hrbaty in 2004 to start an ATP Tour season with consecutive trophies in the opening two weeks of the year.
“I was going on the court with no fear. The match was such a thriller,” said Rublev. “[In the] third set he was twice with the break. I was a little bit lucky at 5-4… and I broke back. I think that was a little bit mental. I think maybe Stefanos got a little disappointed inside that he didn’t make it and then at the end everything was so fast and I won.”
Rublev has won 25 of his 31 tour-level contests this year. Only World No. 1 Novak Djokovic — who owns a 31-1 record in 2020 — owns more victories.
Most ATP Tour Wins In 2020
With his second win in three ATP Head2Head matches against Tsitsipas, Rublev becomes only the second Russian singles champion in Hamburg. The five-time ATP Tour titlist follows in the footsteps of former World No. 3 Nikolay Davydenko, who captured the title in 2009.
Tsitsipas was also aiming to capture his first ATP 500 title in his fifth final at the level. The reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion has reached three championship matches this year, highlighted by his second straight triumph at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille.
“It is a pity. But that is what our sport is about,” said Tsitsipas. “It is all about fighting and at the end, the one who deserves it the most is the one that puts in the most hard work and dedication… I feel sad that I won’t walk away from here with the title, but I can’t wait to be back next year to do even better, hopefully.”
Rublev started the match at a high level, dictating rallies with strong returns and powerful forehands to establish a 2-1 lead. Despite dropping serve in the next game, as Tsitsipas increased his aggression from the baseline, Rublev attacked the Greek’s backhand to regain his advantage.
Tsitsipas played with patience and variety from the back of the court, moving his opponent out of position to extract forehand errors in the second set. The World No. 6 served with confidence to force a decider, winning 85 per cent of his first-serve points in the second set (17/20).
After trading breaks at 1-1 in the first set, Tsitsipas ripped multiple forehands to gain a second break and a 3-2 advantage. The five-time ATP Tour titlist served for the trophy at 5-4, but Rublev took advantage of errors from his opponent to turn the match in his favour.
After a love service hold at 5-5, the Russian benefitted from Tsitsipas forehand errors to earn two championship points. Rublev screamed towards his player box and held his head in his hands when Tsitsipas committed only his second double fault of the final.
Rublev earns 500 FedEx ATP Ranking points and receives €79,330 in prize money. Tsitsipas collects 300 ATP Ranking points and €64,075.
Did You Know?
This was the first Hamburg final to feature two 22-and-under players since 2004. On that occasion, Roger Federer (22) defeated Guillermo Coria (22) in four sets to claim his second trophy at the event. Federer owns a tournament record four titles in Hamburg.