Andrey Rublev was pushed once again at the US Open on Monday, but found the answers to see off a spirited challenge from 21-year-old Briton Jack Draper and reach the quarter-finals in New York for the fourth time.
Rublev and Draper went blow for blow throughout their two-hour, 44-minute encounter, before the eighth seed used his big-match experience to pull away and triumph 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The 25-year-old, who earned four-set victories in his second and third-round matches, struck 44 winners and showed good hands to deal with Draper’s swinging lefty serve, improving to 3-0 in their Lexus ATP Head2Head series.
“Since the first point, I was feeling the ball really well and I felt that Jack was also playing really well. But I was able to break him and then I thought, ‘Ok, let’s try to make it a long a match as possible, physical wise’,” Rublev said. “Physically I was a bit more fit because he is coming back from injury and in the fourth set you could see that. Jack was tiring and not playing the same way and I was able to add extra speed and finish the match.”
Rublev holds an 0-8 record in major quarter-finals, having also advanced to that stage at the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year. He will aim to change that record when he meets Daniil Medvedev or Alex de Minaur.
Draper missed three months of the season due to a shoulder injury and was forced to retire from his second-round match in Winston-Salem on his return to Tour last month. The 21-year-old Briton looked fully fit in New York, where he reached the fourth round at a Slam for the first time.
The 2022 Next Gen ATP Finals competitor is up 18 spots to No. 105 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.
Source: ATP Tour