Rivalries Of 2022: Andrey Rublev vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas | ATP Tour

This week, ATPTour.com continues its annual season-in-review sequence, wanting again at 2022’s greatest matches, largest upsets, most dramatic comebacks and extra. On this installment, we glance again at Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas‘ rivalry in 2022. On Tuesday we are going to concentrate on Nick Kyrgios and Daniil Medvedev‘s rivalry.

Little or no has separated Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas all through their ATP Head2Head historical past, which the Greek Tsitsipas leads 6-5. Neither man has received greater than two consecutive matchups within the sequence, with straight-sets wins a rarity.

That theme continued in 2022, when all three conferences went to a deciding set. Tsitsipas received the primary two, in Madrid and Astana, earlier than Rublev received the final giggle on the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin. ATPTour.com appears again at these matches as we put one of many season’s greatest rivalries within the highlight.

Mutua Madrid Open, QF, Tsitsipas d. Rublev 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
Lower than a month after he efficiently defended his Monte Carlo title, Tsitsipas made one other deep clay-court run on the ATP Masters 1000 in Madrid. After he stormed into the quarter-finals with out dropping a set and ripped by way of the opener in opposition to Rublev, the Greek met his first actual resistance on the week because the match wore on.

The Tsitsipas serve was the standout shot within the opening set, because the fourth seed dropped simply six factors on his supply, however Rublev’s forehand did the heavy injury in set two. Neither man might draw back as they traded blows within the ultimate set, and a tie-break appeared the possible end result. However at 4-4, Tsitsipas produced a superb return sport to edge forward earlier than serving out a hard-fought win.

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“He was actually making use of loads of pressure into the strokes, and it wasn’t simple predicting what was going to return subsequent,” mentioned Tsitsipas after warding off two Rublev break factors within the ultimate sport. “However I’m very glad with the best way issues ended.

“It’s by no means simple taking part in him, and I actually needed to survive that final sport with my greatest power and provides out my soul, just about, to complete it in such a great way.”

Maybe feeling the results of the two-hour battle, Tsitsipas was outlasted by Alexander Zverev in a three-set semi-final defeat. 

Astana Open, SF, Tsitsipas d. Rublev 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
5 months after their Madrid assembly in Might, Tsitsipas and Rublev squared off on the exhausting courts of Astana in October. 

Rublev used a quick begin to take the opening set, saving three break factors within the course of, however it was Tsitsipas who excelled on the stress factors in units two and three. After some battling holds within the ultimate two units, Tsitsipas struck late in every to advance to his sixth title match on the 12 months. (He would end 2022 with seven tour-level ultimate appearances.)

The Greek pointed to his selection and aggression because the keys to his comeback on the ATP 500, whereas additionally crediting Rublev for his position in an entertaining matchup.

“I hit with loads of variation and mixing and it went my means in the direction of the tip,” he mentioned. “I stored pursuing these pictures with loads of ardour and willpower. It was not simple, being a set down. To should take care of an excellent opponent on the opposite aspect of the web made it a particularly bodily battle. I’m happy with myself for being so decided to make it work so properly.”

Within the ultimate, Tsitsipas didn’t have one other fightback in him as he misplaced to Novak Djokovic in straight units.

Nitto ATP Finals, RR, Rublev d. Tsitsipas 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
It was Rublev’s flip to return from behind in Turin, as he beat Tsitsipas within the round-robin stage of the season finale for the second straight 12 months. Their 2022 matchup took on added significance — a winner-takes-all contest to shut group play, with the winner advancing to the knockout rounds on the loser’s expense.

Tsitsipas was scorching initially as he raced by way of the opening set behind vicious cuts on his serve and forehand. However Rublev stayed the course to advance to the semis for the primary time in three Nitto ATP Finals appearances. As dominant as Tsitsipas was within the opening set, Rublev matched it after which some as he dictated play within the later phases. 

From 3-3 in set two, Rublev received 9 of the ultimate 11 video games by firing winners off each wings and moving into his returns with nice impact.

“I did not surrender. I stored combating and taking part in,” he mentioned. “I misplaced my feelings a bit once I misplaced a silly sport at 40/0 within the first set. I let my feelings go… I assumed I might have possibilities if I simply gave my greatest. I managed to show the match round.”

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For Rublev’s half, he sees their video games as carefully matched, as evidenced by the slim 6-5 lead Tsitsipas holds of their ATP Head2Head sequence: “When you take our match, each match, now we have robust battles,” he mentioned in Turin when instructed of Tsitsipas’ remarks. “This 12 months I misplaced to him twice in three units, and now I beat him in three units.”

The pair have met 3 times in every of the previous three seasons, and the stage is completely set for extra in 2023.

Learn extra of our Finest Of 2022 sequence