Rublev ties Djokovic for most titles in 2020; Zverev soars in Cologne

Rublev ties Djokovic for most titles in 2020; Zverev soars in Cologne

The Russian beat Borna Coric to win the equal-biggest title of his career in St. Petersburg. Meanwhile, Alexander Zverev won his first title of the year in Cologne, Laslo Djere came through in Sardinia and Coco Gauff qualified in Ostrava.

World No. 10 Andrey Rublev tied No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic with his tour-leading fourth title of the year on Sunday, beating Borna Coric, 7-6 (5), 6-4, to win the 500-level event in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Trailing 5-2 in the first set tie-break, the Russian won five consecutive points to take a one-set lead, then got the only break of the match in the fifth game of the second set and rode it to victory—he ripped a swinging forehand volley on match point, which Coric couldn’t get back, ending the affair in an hour and 39 minutes.

“Borna was playing well today, but I just got lucky,” Rublev told the crowd afterwards. “He’s an unbelievably good player. He’s beaten so many top players—Nadal, Federer, Murray—he’s shown an unbelievable level of tennis throughout his career. And what’s more is that he’s a great person, too.”

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After winning his first two titles of the year in back-to-back weeks leading up to the Australian Open, at Doha and Adelaide, Rublev has now picked up his third and fourth titles of the season right before and directly after Roland Garros, winning on clay in Hamburg three weeks ago and in St. Petersburg this week.

What’s more is that Hamburg and St. Petersburg are both 500-level events—his two biggest titles. He's now tied with Djokovic for most ATP titles this year. No other player even has more than two.

Rublev also holds a 34-7 record this year, the second-most wins in 2020 after Djokovic, who's 37-2.

Meanwhile, over at the 250-level event in Cologne, Germany, Alexander Zverev captured his first ATP title of the year—and the 12th of his career—with a seamless 6-3, 6-3 victory over Felix Auger-Aliassime. The Canadian was looking for his first career ATP title—he’s now 0-6 in final rounds. 

Zverev had some encouraging words for the 20-year-old Canadian.

“Felix, you’re an unbelievable player. I know it doesn’t mean much right now, but I’m sure you’re not only going to win one title, you’re going to win multiple titles in your career, bigger titles than this.”

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And at the clay-court event in Sardinia, Italy, it was Serbia’s Laslo Djere who lifted the title, edging 2018 Roland Garros semifinalist and former Top 20 player Marco Cecchinato in the final, 7-6 (3), 7-5.

Cecchinato, who climbed to world No. 16 in 2019, will now return to the Top 100 for the first time since February. Djere captured his second career ATP title, having won the 500-level event in Rio de Janeiro last year.

In WTA action, Coco Gauff moved into the main draw of the new Premier-level event in Ostrava, Czech Republic, beating former Top 30 player Irina-Camelia Begu in the final round of qualifying, 6-4, 6-4. The American teenager will face Katerina Siniakova in the opening round of the main draw. 

World No. 5 Elina Svitolina is the top seed in Ostrava. Former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka is also set to take the court on Tuesday.