NEW YORK: Rainy weather could not dampen Russian Andrey Rublev‘s sublime form as he rolled past Briton Cameron Norrie 6-4 6-4 6-4 on Monday to reach the U.S. Open quarter-finals.
The ninth seeded Rublev fired down 11 aces in what turned out to be a brisk affair, which would have come as a relief considering he had been stretched to five-sets in two of his previous three matches.
With 24-year-old Rublev up a break in the second set, rain forced a 21-minute stoppage in play as Louis Armstrong Stadium’s retractable roof slowly slid into place and workers mopped up the court before the eighth game.
Rublev was unfazed, dropping only two of his first serve points in the third set and getting the critical break over the seventh seed in the ninth game with an exquisitely placed backhand winner.
“Today was everything going my side. Like when I need to play, like to make a good serve I was making good serve. Every time when I need him to miss he was missing,” he told reporters.
“On top of that, I was playing good.”
On the hunt for a maiden major title, Rublev’s recent hard court performances painted an inconsistent picture, as he crashed out of his Montreal opener to Briton Dan Evans and lost in the last 16 at Cincinnati.
But he appeared to be fully in command of his game on New York’s famed blue courts on Monday, with local favourite Frances Tiafoe waiting in the next round. The American defeated second seed Rafa Nadal.
Seventh seed Norrie, who enjoyed a career breakthrough this year when he reached a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time at the All England Club, said he was a “bit too relaxed and too low energy” in the match.
“I went through a stage in the second set, I wasn’t hitting my backhand, I was missing a lot. Errors on my backhand side was not like myself. I usually can rely on that side,” he told reporters.
“It was good learning for me.”

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By Dipak

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