De Minaur Saves Match Points Against Rublev To Setup Final with Zverev
In another great match at the Citi Open for 2018, Alex De Minaur relied on massive fan support to defeat Andrey Rublev 5-7 7-6 6-4 in nearly three hours. The promising Aussie took advantage of a poor Rublev second serve and played clutch tennis to reach the Citi Open final, his second career ATP final and his second ATP final in 2018.
In the first set Rublev, who previously eased past Denis Kudla 6-1 6-4 in a quarterfinal completed early in the day, saved four break points on his serve, and then broke ADM late at love to take the opening set 7-5 and presumably set himself up to reach the final.
Set 2 saw Rublev save three more break points on his serve, while ADM saved four before the tiebreak, including three in one game that would have given Rublev a significant advantage. Rublev went up 6-2 in the ensuing second set tiebreak and then unraveled with error ridden play as ADM won every point from 2-6 to take it 8-6, saving four match points in the process.
The third set broke things open as both tired players traded breaks, there were 5 in total with the last two going in favor of ADM as he recovered from a break down early in the third to break in the last game of the match on his fourth match point to reach the final.
In that final ADM will face defending champion Alexander Zverev. Zverev moved a match closer to repeating as champion with a 6-2 6-4 victory against fellow young gun Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Greek was visibly frustrated by Zverev’s powerful, clean hitting from the baseline. Zverev won 84% of his first serve points and faced no break points as he raced to a one set lead and then broke Tsitipas late to take a 5-4 lead. He would serve out his second match point at 15 to secure a final berth. Zverev will be the favorite on Sunday.
Svetlena Kuznetsova Returns to Top 100 With Vekic On Deck in the Final
Svetlana Kuznetsova won twice on Saturday, dropping just eight games in two matches to reach the Citi Open final. The result means she returns to the top 100 after a wrist injury sidelined her for multiple months. Kuznetsova blazed past Putinseva 6-2 6-2 and Andrea Petkovic in the semifinal by the same 6-2 6-2 scoreline. In total she spent about three hours on court in two matches.
Her opponent in the final will be Donna Vekic, Vekic defeated Linette 6-1 7-6 in the early quarterfinal, then defeated Saisai Zheng 7-5 6-3 in the semifinal after Zheng had dominated Kiick 6-3 6-1.
Kuznetsova is seeking her first WTA title since 2016 and last made a WTA final in 2017 at Indian Wells. Vekic won her last final in Nottingham in 2017 and will be facing an opponent 11 years her senior with two Grand Slam titles on her resume in Kuznetsova.
ATP and WTA Doubles Final Set on Saturday
The men’s doubles final will feature veteran Mike Bryan and his partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin against Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares while the WTA doubles final features Han/Jurak against Routliffe/Guarachi.