Belgrade, April 22: Second seed Andrey Rublev produced an impressive display of forehands to overwhelm Taro Daniel in the quarterfinals and reach the semi-finals of the Serbian Open, here on Friday.
World No. 8 Rublev recorded a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Daniel in the 74-minute quarterfinals of the ATP 250 event, setting up a quarterfinal meeting with Fabio Fognini.
“I was a bit stressed because the weather was very rough. The conditions were very windy, the ball was moving a lot, so I needed to slow down, be more careful. I felt like I was playing well, I felt like I had control of the ball and I didn’t I could take so many risks because of the wind,” Rublev said after the match.
“But then, over time, I started to adapt, to take advantage of the moments when there was not much wind and I started to try to play more aggressively. In the end it worked,” he added.
With the win, Rublev moves to a 21-5 record for the 2022 season. Only Monte Carlo Masters champion Stefanos Tsitsipas has won more matches this year. Despite that strong record, he is taking nothing for granted ahead of his meeting with sixth seed Fognini on Saturday.
“It’s going to be tough. Fabi, he’s super talented, he can play amazing and it’s going to be a tough match with a lot of long rallies, so I just need to give my best and we’ll see what happens,” Rublev said. of the Fognini shock.
Fognini outclassed Germany’s Oscar Otte with a 7-5, 6-4 victory on Friday. He will be hoping to find the best of him when he takes on Rublev in his second semi-final of the season.
Eight of the Italian’s nine ATP Tour titles have come on clay, the biggest of which was his 2019 win at the Monte-Carlo Masters. He holds a 5-4 ATP Head2Head series lead over Rublev, but the second seed has won the pair’s last three meetings.
In the other of Saturday’s semi-finals in Belgrade, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will try to keep his bid for a third title alive at the ATP 250 event when he takes on third seed Karen Khachanov.