Rublev cuts the great path of Feliciano López in Melbourne

Andrey Rublev, undefeated in 2021, was able to defeat the 39-year-old veteran, whom he knows very well because he has trained many times with him. The Russian will meet Ruud.


Feliciano López can leave Melbourne with his head very high despite having clearly fallen to Andrey Rublev this Saturday in the third round of the Australian Open: 7-5, 6-2 and 6-3 in 1h: 32. First, because it has a lot of merit that at 39 years old, short of preparation among other things because he was a father for the first time on July 4, he was able to win two games in a Grand Slam, the second of maximum demand by having to overcome two sets against a good rival, the Italian Lorenzo Sonego. And then because he faced one of the most fit players on the circuit, undefeated in 2021 (7-0), and who also knows him very well despite the fact that they had never met before, because they have shared many training sessions in Barcelona, where Rublev is prepared by the Spanish Fernando Vicente.

At least, Feli had the pleasure of completing an exquisite first set, in which he only failed when in the twelfth game he could not force a tiebreaker, after having had two break options in the seventh. Until then, the man from Toledo served out wonderfully, a fabulous volley and endured from the back of the track in the few long exchanges that there were, because he knew how to cut the rhythm of his rival. But Rublev is so good and he is playing too, that he did not lose focus at any time, increased the pressure on López and ended up beating him due to wear and quality. The Spaniard leaves with two longevity achievements related to the figure of Ken Rosewall. On the one hand, he is the oldest player to win two games in a Grand Slam since the Australian did it in the major of his country in 1978 at the age of 44. He also became the oldest on Thursday to overcome a 0-2 from Rosewall himself, who did so at Wimbledon 1974 with 40 against Stan Smith.

The next two manga did not have much history. Feliciano made mistakes and his opponent subtracted magnificently to get him to despair. "I knew it would be doubtful to surpass him, because he has an amazing serve and cut backhand, and it was clear that he was not going to give me rhythm. But then he lowered his tone and I kept mine," explained Andrey, who only lost three points with first aces and will face Casper Ruud in the second round. The Norwegian beat Moldovan Radu Albot (6-1, 5-7, 6-4 and 6-4).

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