Andrey Rublev advanced to the second round of the European Open in Hamburg on Wednesday after defeating fortunate loser Ricardas Berankis 6-3, 6-4. Using precise and powerful groundstrokes to destroy the Lithuanian, the second seed advanced after 73 minutes by ignoring a Berankis comeback and upping his effort at crucial times.
Rublev, who reached the final in 2019 and defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas to win the title in his last outing in 2020, now has a 10-2 record at the ATP 500 clay-court event.
“I’m pleased with how I performed. Ricardas is a very competitive player. I have to bring intensity from the first game because of how hard and quickly he smacks the ball, Rublev said in an on-court interview.
I’m pleased with the way I served today and the wonderful strokes I made from the baseline.
He played extremely well in the game where he broke me in the second set. He made an aggressive return, and I don’t believe I made a first serve.
Then, though, I remained focused and immediately broke him again. The 24-year-old has advanced to 3-0 in his ATP Head2Head series against Berankis and will now take on Bastad winner Francisco Cerundolo after picking up his 32nd tour-level victory of the year.
This week in northern Germany, Rublev will attempt to win his fourth tour-level championship of the year. The world No. 8 arrived in Hamburg after reaching the quarterfinals on the Bastad clay after winning the title earlier this year in Marseille, Dubai, and Belgrade.