World No. 10 Andrey Rublev held off a spirited challenge from Denis Shapovalov, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, to get within one win of his fourth ATP title of the year at the 500-level event in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Shapovalov had won the pair’s last two meetings in straight sets and things seemed headed the same way this time as he took the opening set—but Rublev broke early in the second set and never looked back, wrapping up the three-set encounter after two hours and nine minutes on court.
It was Rublev’s 33rd win of the year, second only to Novak Djokovic, who has 37 wins this year.
“The match was unreal,” Rublev told ATPTour.com. “The level was high from both sides. Both of us deserved to win. Shapovalov was leading and he had break point in the second set, so everything could have been in two sets for him. One or two points decided the match and today it was for me.”
The Russian is now through to his fourth ATP final of the year and he’s gone 3-0 in his first three, winning back-to-back 250s at Doha and Adelaide in January and a 500 in Hamburg three weeks ago.
Awaiting him in the final will be Borna Coric, who rallied from a first-set blowout to beat Milos Raonic, 1-6, 6-1, 6-4. Coric broke the Raonic three times in the match—twice in the second set and one last time in the third—after the Canadian had been 29-for-29 on service games going into the semis.
Rublev has won all three previous meetings with Coric and has never dropped a set to him.
Zverev was the first to advance, edging Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in two tight sets, 7-5, 7-6 (3), after an hour and 56 minutes. It was far closer than their only previous meeting in the fourth round of the US Open six weeks ago, where Zverev cruised in just an hour and 34 minutes, 6-2, 6-2, 6-1.
Awaiting the No. 1-seeded German in the final will be No. 3 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, who upset No. 2 seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the second semifinal of the day, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.
The Canadian will be going for his first career ATP title—he’s 0-5 in his career in finals.
Zverev has won both of their previous meetings in straight sets. This is their first meeting this year.
At the other ATP event this week, a 250-level clay-court event in Sardinia, Italy, it’s down to Serbia’s Laslo Djere and Italy’s Marco Cecchinato for the title. Djere won the first semifinal when Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti had to retire down 2-6, 6-2, 4-1 due to a right elbow injury, while 2018 Roland Garros semifinalist and former Top 20 player Cecchinato beat routed Danilo Petrovic, 6-1, 6-0.
And the qualifying rounds kicked off at the first WTA event since Roland Garros—a Premier-level hard-court event in Ostrava, Czech Republic—with Coco Gauff among the winners, beating Jana Cepelova in just 52 minutes, 6-1, 6-0. She’ll play Irina-Camelia Begu on Sunday for a spot in the main draw.