Dubai | An exhausted Rublev takes title


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Andrey Rublev brought Jiri Vesely’s amazing run in Dubai to an end in the final of the Duty Free Tennis Championships by defeating the Czech qualifier relatively comfortably 6-3 6-4.

I will sleep for at least two days,. Then, I will think about picking up a racket and, once I am back in shape, I will be ready to go again. Andrey Rublev

While the score line suggest it might have been one-sided, the surprise was that Rublev found enough gas in his tank to inflict a swift 80-minute win having revealed the previous day, that he was exhausted after winning Rotterdam and the singles and doubles titles in Marseille last week.

The second seed won his first match against Britain’s Dan Evans in straight sets, and admitted he struggled in his subsequent matches dropping a set in each of them against South Korea’s Soonwoo Kwon, America’s Mackenzie McDonald and Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz to reach his allotted place in the final.

In contrast Vesely, the world No.123, is still making his comeback from a long bout of Covid 19 and a serious car crash said it was hard to compete again but has surprised everyone with his run which included three qualifying rounds and the elimination of the Serbian world No.1, Novak Djokovic in the quarters.

“I will sleep for at least two days,” Rublev said after his win. “Then, I will think about picking up a racket and, once I am back in shape, I will be ready to go again.”

Ahead of lifting the trophy in front of 5,000 fans in Dubai, he added: “It is incredible that I am even here. Jiri has had such a great week, and it is an honour to take such a great title for the first time.”

Then when asked how he had managed to find the strength, he replied: “Nope. I have no clue.

“I am sitting here beside this trophy and I can barely stand. I have no idea how I did it and even in the weeks to come, I will not understand it. Just now, all I want is plenty of sleep. My team fly out tonight, but thankfully, I might have a few days to enjoys myself. You know yourself that everything in Dubai is amazing. I will rest and then see what I do next.”

The two finalists with their respective trophies

David Gray/Getty Images

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