Day 4. Quarterfinals. Andrey Rublev

Andy Taylor. Emcee. Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2018. Day 4. Quarterfinals. Andrey Rublev

Emcee. Andy Taylor. Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2018
Andrey Rublev (RUS) def Borna Coric (CRO) 63 75

Andrey Rublev played out of his mind today. His accuracy was insane. In a rematch of their Semifinal clash at the “Next Gen ATP Finals,” the 20-year-old Russian dictated play from first-serve.

Coric battled from his heels

Credit to Coric, who was forced to play defense throughout the match. He played well. Rublev was just better, in every aspect.

Andrey scored his first break to take a 3-1 lead in set-1. In the next game, Borna got more aggressive with Rublev’s second serves and earned a break chance, but Andrey recovered. Four games later, Rublev was up a set.

Coric remained steady in the second. Clearly Rublev wasn’t allowing any room for mental hiccups. As he did against Carreno Busta in Round-1, Borna simply kept grinding, waiting for opportunity. Finally the “break” came halfway through the second set when Rublev sent a backhand long, gifting the Croatian a 4-2 lead.

Missteps don’t define a match. How one recovers defines the outcome

Rublev wasn’t happy. He was still controlling most of the rallies, but was down a break. Andrey didn’t dwell, he got to work. Five quick points later, he was a back on serve.

While Coric still delivered some heroics, saving break point at 4-all to hold serve, Rublev was locked-in. Andrey won the next three games with relentless precision. All Coric could do was stand there and watch.

Should he win tomorrow, Rublev’s 2018 will begin the same way 2017 ended……with a Championship match appearance.

Next up: Semifinals. Guido Pella

Rublev and Pella have never played before. Based on Andrey’s performance against Coric, Guido will have his hands full on Friday.

Pella reached the Semifinals with a straight sets win over Qualifier Mirza Basic in Thursday’s first match. His toughest test came in the 1st-Round, where he finally scored his first win over Albert Ramos-Vinolas, after falling twice to the Spaniard last year.

Andrey Rublev

YESTERDAY, THIS 20-YEAR-OLD DEFEATED 2017 DOHA SEMIFINALIST FERNANDO VERDASCO TO REACH TONIGHT’S QUARTERFINAL MATCH. HE HAD A BREAKTHROUGH SEASON LAST YEAR, CAPTUERING HIS FIRST CAREER TITLE IN UMAG, AND REACHING THE SECOND ROUND OF THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN IN HIS GRAND SLAM MAIN-DRAW DEBUT. HE WENT ON TO QUALIFY FOR THE MAIN DRAW AT ROLAND GARROS, REACHED THE 2ND-ROUND AT WIMBLEDON, AND AT THE US OPEN IN NEW YORK, EARNED HIS FIRST CAREER TOP-10 WIN, DEFEATING GRIGOR DIMITROV – THEN WORLD #14 DAVID GOFFIN – TO BECOME THE YOUNGEST US OPEN QUARTERFINALIST SINCE ANDY RODDICK IN 2001. RANKED OUTSIDE THE TOP-150 AT THE START OF THE YEAR, HE ENDED 2017 INSIDE THE TOP-40, REACHING THE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH AT THE NEXT GEN ATP FINALS IN MILAN. COMPETING IN HIS FIRST QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN, FROM RUSSIA – PLEASE WELCOME ANDREY RUBLEV

Borna Coric

ON TUESDAY, IN HIS FIRST MATCH OF THE NEW YEAR, THIS 21-YEAR-OLD UPSET PABLO CARRENO BUSTA IN A DECIDING-SET TIEBREAK, TO EARN HIS 7TH CAREER TOP-10 VICTORY. HE HAD THREE TOP-10 WINS LAST YEAR ALONE, INCLUDING VICTORIES OVER DOMINIC THIEM IN MIAMI, ALEXANDER ZVEREV AT THE US OPEN, AND WORLD #1 ANDY MURRAY AT THE MADRID MASTERS. IN APRIL, HE WON HIS FIRST TOUR-LEVEL TITLE IN MARRAKECH, SAVING FIVE CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS TO EARN THE TITLE OVER PHILIP KOHLSCHREIBER; AND HE FINISHED THE SEASON WITH A SEMIFINAL RUN AT THE NEXT GEN ATP FINALS IN MILAN. RANKED AS HIGH AS #33 IN THE WORLD, HE HELPED LIFT CROATIA TO THE DAVIS CUP WORLD GROUP FINAL IN 2016. COMPETOING IN HIS FIRST QATAR EXXONMOBIL OPEN, YESTERDAY HE EARNED HIS FIRST WIN OVER NIKOLOZ BASILASHVILI TO REACH TONIGHT’S QUARTERFINAL MATCH. FROM CROATIA – PLEASE WELCOME BORNA CORIC