Andrey Rublev went past Hoger Rune by 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(11-9) on Monday at the Rod Laver Arena. It was a see-saw match as the pendulum swung from one end to the other. Rublev took the first set but the 19-year-old bounced back in the second.
The Russian then once again took the lead in the third set and Rune was then struggling with illness in the fourth set. However, the youngster bounced back against the run of play to once again make it even.
In fact, the Danish player had two match points in the fifth set but could not convert them. Furthermore, Rune took a 5-0 lead in the Super tiebreaker but it was Rublev who had the final laugh.
“I never in my life was able to win matches like this,” Rublev said post-match. “This is the first ever time that I won something like this, especially in a very special tournament, the Australian Open, to be in the quarter-finals. So it’s something I will remember for sure all my life. I have no words, I am shaking and happy.”
Both the players gave their best as the match lasted for three hours and 37 minutes. At last, Rublev had the rub of the green on the Match point at 10-9 in the tiebreaker with the net cord.
”When I hit it in the beginning, I saw how the ball clearly hit the net and was on my side,” he said of the moment time stood still as the ball hung in the air. “Sometimes it can be a bit higher, and then maybe [it goes over]. But that ball was exactly on my side and I don’t know how [it] went over.”
On the other hand, Rune feels it was a great match and congratulated Rublev on his win.
“I think it was a great match,” said Rune.
“I think I had all the chances that I could wish for. I just didn’t close him. I had 5-2 in the fifth, [5/0] in the tiebreak. I thought I played strong from the fourth set. I raised my game a little bit.
“I think I took my chances well, just not in the fifth set. That is where it matters. He was better than me in the important moments. Congrats to him.”
Andrey Rublev will face Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.