It is the most beautiful title of his career. Sunday April 16, the Russian Andrey Rublev, 6e world, won the Monte-Carlo tennis tournament, defeating Dane Holger Rune (5-7, 6-2, 7-5). He signs his first success in a Masters 1000, after having failed twice in the final of this most prestigious category after the Grand Slams – in Monaco, already, in 2021, and in Cincinnati (United States), the same year.
In the decisive set, the 25-year-old almost trailed 5-1, before turning the situation to his advantage. “At one point, I thought that I had no more chance of winning”he will also slip at the end of the meeting.
“I don’t know how I did it. I tried to play until the end because in my last two finals [de Masters 1000] I had lowered my arms. This time, I said to myself that, even if I had to lose, I had to at least fight until the end. »
Deprived of the flag and the national anthem because of the sanctions imposed after the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Andrey Rublev was able to benefit from the support of the public. Among the rare Russian sportsmen to have publicly denounced the war, he thanked the stands: “Coming from the country where I come from, to receive such international support is enormous. »
Three match points and an ace
Andrey Rublev and Holger Rune had faced each other twice: the Dane won the Masters 1000 in Paris in 2022, in the quarter-finals, before winning the tournament against Novak Djokovic. In January, it was Andrey Rublev who emerged victorious in their duel in the round of 16 at the Australian Open; after saving two match points, he received help from the net to score the final point.
On Sunday, the match between these two fiery sluggers did not live up to all its promises, especially compared to the Australian showdown. After an exchange of face-offs midway through the first set, Holger Rune won the first set, benefiting from a big unforced error from his opponent on the break point in the last game.
The Russian immediately took the lead in the second set to lead 2-0, but the Dane came back to 2-2. In the process, Andrey Rublev chained four games to equalize at one set everywhere. In the last set, the young Dane seemed to fly to victory, at 3-0 and having a double break point to lead 5-1.
Finally, it was the Russian who lined up three games in a row, then managed the break by taking advantage of the nervousness of his opponent, who missed two smashes in a row. At 6-5 in his favor, Andrey Rublev served for the match: he gave himself three match points in a row and concluded with an ace on the second.