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ATP Tour: Rublev returns from the brink to edge past Draper in Madrid

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Madrid, May 3 (IANS) Andrey Rublev survived a major scare on Tuesday at the Madrid Open, edging past NextGen ATP star Briton Jack Draper 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 to reach the third round.

The World No. 8 arrived in Madrid high in confidence following his title run at the Serbia Open in Belgrade last month. However, he was tested to his limits against wild card Draper in a heavy-hitting clash as he rallied from 0-3 in the third set to eventually advance after two hours and 19 minutes.

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Draper has captured four ATP Challenger Tour titles in 2022 and showed everyone why with his relentless aggression on Manolo Santana Stadium, the ATP said in a report on its website. The 20-year-old, who is fifth in the ATP Race To Milan, caused Rublev problems throughout as he swung his lefty serve with accuracy before ultimately fading near the end in the lively conditions.

Rublev is making his second appearance at the ATP Masters 1000 event and recovered after a stuttering start against World No. 121, finding greater control from the baseline as the match went on to reach the third round in Madrid again.

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The key to Rublev’s success in the third set was his ability to press home his advantage from attacking positions. The 11-time title winner on ATP Tour won slightly more than four of every five points in which he was in the offense for a Conversion score of 81%.

Following his victory, the 24-year-old will next play Daniel Evans, Roberto Bautista Agut, or Jenson Brooksby, with Briton Evans awaiting the winner of the match between the Spaniard and the American.

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Rublev is aiming to clinch his maiden Masters 1000 crown this week, having earned a joint tour-leading three trophies in 2022.

In other matches played on Tuesday, Hubert Hurkacz of Poland got the better of qualifier Hugo Dellien of Bolivia 7-5, 6-7(11), 6-3 in a Round of64 match while Croatia’s Marin Cilic, a former top-10 player, defeated Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.



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Nikki Tamboli

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Himanshi Khurana

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