Andry Rublev continued to tear up the opposition on Tuesday, with the Russian setting up a massive second-round fitness test for Andy Murray at the ATP Rotterdam tournament.
The fourth seed has now won nine of 10 matches this season after advancing past US qualifier Marcos Giron 7-6(1), 6-3.
The 78-minute ended with an ace as Rublev moved into his contest with wild card; former No. 1 Murray, who advanced on Monday’s opening day.
The 33-year-old Scot who took the title here a dozen years ago won their only previous meeting four years ago.
“Andy is a true legend and I have a really good connection with him,” Rublev said. “I really like him as a person and as a player.
“He destroyed me once in the past; I’m sure we’ll have great, long rallies and it will be a fight.”
Rublev said he needed to get adjusted as he faced Giron. “It was my first match indoors and I felt a bit tight in the first set.”
Rublev has been near-unstoppable at ATP 500 series events, winning the last three of the 2020 season – Hamburg, St. Petersburg and Vienna.