Andrey Rublev is on a high. The Muscovite has enjoyed his best ever start to the clay swing and on Sunday at the Mutua Madrid Open he claimed his tenth win on the surface from eleven appearances in 2023.
The fifth seed, with his typically brave brand of tennis, stormed past Japanese player Yoshihito Nishioka in the Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario Stadium in two sets (6-2, 7-5) and one hour and 26 minutes of tennis.
By sealing his ticket to the last sixteen, this year’s champion in Monte Carlo has maintained his 100% record at Masters 1000 events on clay and now has a chance to match his best result in the Caja Mágica, the quarter-finals he reached last year in the Spanish capital.
The recent finalist in Banja Luka will now square off against Karen Khachanov, who saw off Spaniard Roberto Bautista, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3. Rublev and his compatriot are playing together in the doubles and their clash will break the deadlock in their head to head (2-2), the last chapter of which came in the last sixteen in Monte Carlo, where Rublev took the spoils.
For Rublev this MMOPEN could provide another chance to test his mettle and build confidence in the run up to the French Open, where his best finish was the quarter-finals (2020 and 2022), without forgetting the fact that he was the junior champion there in 2014.