Andrei Rublev’s winning streak unexpectedly came to an end in the semi-finals of the ATP Masters 1000 competition in Indian Wells on Saturday. The Russian had to acknowledge the superiority of Taylor Fritz, who will be fighting for the biggest success of his career on Sunday.
PAP / EPA / RAY ACEVEDO / Pictured: Taylor Fritz
13 wins in a row and that’s it. Andrei Rublev was the favorite in the BNP Paribas Open 2022 semi-finals, but he won’t be playing for the title in sunny California. On Saturday, the Russian Taylor Fritz met for the fifth time in the main series, and as in 2018 in Indian Wells (second round), the American achieved two hundred wins. He also improved the balance of meetings with Moscow to 3-2 and will fight on Sunday for the biggest trophy of his career. So far, his tally in the finals is very modest, standing at 1-5.
Fritz, who was born in California, showed on Saturday that he feels more confident at the Indian Wells tennis park. The beginning of the meeting with Rublev was wonderful. In the second match, he stunned his opponent with some impressive winnings. The Russian (under the neutral flag) lost his service. The American managed to pass it brilliantly. In the sixth match, he could still improve the score, but the opponent saved three break points.
Fritz’s hand shook as he passed in the ninth inning to win the first push. Rublev immediately felt his chance. The patient’s match gave him a run, and after a few minutes he was already at 5. But the Russian did not follow up on the blow and found himself in serious trouble after switching his team. In the twelfth game he defended the ball of the first set with a backhand on the line and the second with a forehand. On the third time the American sent the forehand into the net and thus lost the set 5: 7.
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In the second installment, the game has been very even for a long time. In the final stage of this part of the match, Fritz began noting that he had problems with his leg, but he did not lose serve. But in the tenth match, Rublov lost his way, who, sending a forehand to the cars, gave the opponent a match. The hosts’ favorite didn’t wait anymore and the duel ended with a stellar return after the streak.
After an hour and 50 minutes, Fritz deservedly won 7:5, 6:4. On Saturday he had five aces, three double faults, 26 final hits and 23 fouls. Rublev had five aces, three double faults, 23 winning strikes, and 30 non-compelling faults. He was also broken three times, and only responded with one break.
Fritz will compete in the first final of the ATP Masters 1000. On Saturday, he became the first American to reach the BNP Paribas Open final in 10 years. The ex was John Eisner in 2012. – It’s unreal, really. It doesn’t even feel real. I’ll just try to capture this moment, regroup, and get back to the final tomorrow – said the 24-year-old in a post-match interview on the field.
Fritz’s opponent in Sunday’s title match (23:00 Poland time) will be Rafael Nadal or Carlos Alcaraz.
BNP Paribas Open Bank, Indian Wells (USA)
ATP Masters 1000, Hard Court, prize pool of $8.584 million
Saturday 19 March
Taylor Fritz (USA, 20) beat Andrei Rublev (7), 7-5, 6-4
Men’s Championship Program and Results
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Indian Wells ATP USA Taylor Fritz Russia Tennis Andrey Rublev ATP Indian Wells
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