Andrey Rublev got off and running at the ATP Dubai event on Tuesday as the Russian stretched his unbeaten streak at the Tour 500 level to 21 straight match wins.
The winner of his last four 500 tournaments dating to Hamburg last autumn, made quick work of fellow young gun Emil Ruusuvuori, defeating the Finn 6-4, 6-4 in 77 minutes without facing a break point to reach the third round.
Rusuvuori, ranked 87th after last season’s breakthrough into the ranking Top 100, had six aces but the same number of double-faults,
Rublev next plays American Taylor Fritz, a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) winner over weekend Doha champion Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Rublev said that he really had not kept track of his run of success; his 21 straight pull him level with Andy Murray in 2009. Roger Federer leads the category with 28 straight wins in 500 events.
The red-hot Russian second seed has won 14 of his last 16 matches.
“There is no secret, it just happened… was not focused on this. It just happened that I did good in these weeks and I am really happy,” Rublev said.
“I am realising it now… I’m really happy that it happened to me. I am really happy that I achieved something that Andy did, because it is not easy.”
Rublev, who stands second in the draw this week behind Dominic Thiem, is chasing the ninth title of his career as he adjusts to the faster court conditions at the Aviation Club.
One break per set was enough to see him through over Ruusuvuori,
“It was definitely a tough match, Emil played through qualifying and won a first-rounder,” the winner said.
“He was used to the conditions already so it was not an easy match. It was close, especially in some moments in the second set.
“I played quite a good match and am happy to be in the third round.”
as used to the conditions already and it was not an easy match. It was close, especially in some moments in the second set. I am really with the way I played today. I played quite a good match and I am happy to be in the third round.”
Rublev will meet 15th seed Taylor Fritz or Qatar ExxonMobil Open champion Nikoloz Basilashvili in the third round.
Basilashvili earned a straight-sets semi-final victory against Fritz en route to the Doha title last week.