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31st TERRA WORTMANN OPEN June 15th to 23rd 2024

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(at Sportpark, Gausekampweg 2, Halle/Westf.)

Rublev aims at second title shot in Halle

The world's number seven defeats the big surprise of the grasscourt season

Andrei Rublev still has some unfinished business at the TERRA WORTMANN OPEN. He was in the finals at the grass tournament in Halle 2021– and lost very surprisingly to the young French player Ugo Humbert. Obviously, the man from Moscow wants to correct this in 2023. After winning over Tallon Griekspoor from the Netherlands in a three-set match he is through to the semi-finals. 

On paper the match Rublev - Griekspoor was clear. The number 7 against a player who only broke through to the world’s top this year at the age of 26. But Tallon Griekspoor has just won the grass tournament at s’Hertogenbosch and had a score of 7:0 on his slate this season before this quarter final match. Furthermore, he kicked title-defender Hubert Hurkacz out of the tournament.

Andrei Rublev was therefore warned. However, he could not hinder Griekspoor, the underdog, to carry on where he had left off the night before against Hurkacz, winning the first set 6:3. The top 10 player had the fitting answer. And when the man from Haarlem decreased slightly in performance the favourite got a grip of things. He rushed Griekspoor across the court with his quick forehand, which he can speed up just like that. Two breaks in the second set and it was 6:3 for Rublev. In the third set he added on, again taking his opponent’s service twice. At 5:2 Rublev served to win the match.

Now came the part of Fernando Vicente’s protégé’s unpredictable game which may have been anticipated by some. 25 year-old Rublev lost his service to have it 5:3. He finally had a match point in the ninth game. Griekspoor answered with an ace. Match point again. Service winner again. Third match point – fended off by a volley. Fourth match point – fault Rublev. The score was now 5:4. And then? Promptly two break points for the man from the Netherlands against Rublev! But he stayed steadfast and had himself his fifth match point. Griekspoor’s backhand got caught in the net. 3:6, 6:3, 6:4. End of play at the OWL Arena. ”It was hard, he is playing strongly at the moment, but in the end, I think, he was a little tired“, the winner said about his opponent. Now Roberto Bautista Agut waits in the semi-finals. He will definitely not be tired.

Andrei Rublev had some trouble in the end but made it to the finish line. Photo: TERRA WORTMANN OPEN/Mathias Schulz