Hamburg Open: Rublev survives Miralles challenge; Ruud claws back to beat Sebastian Baez

Hamburg (Germany), July 27 (IANS) Andrey Rublev saved three match points as he came back from the brink to claw past Spaniard Bernabe Zapata Miralles at the Hamburg European Open.

Rublev won the match 5-7, 6-1, 7-6(7) to reach the pre-quarterfinals.

The second seed recovered from a slow start at the ATP 500 clay-court event, finding his best level deep in the third set to fend off Zapata Miralles, who was chasing his first Top 10 win of the season.

Rublev rallied from 4/6 in the third-set tie-break and saved his third match point at 6/7 with a forehand winner. The 25-year-old raised his arms aloft after winning the two-hour, 53-minute first-round thriller.

In other matches, fourth seed Alexander Zverev defeated wild card Maximilian Marterer of Germany 6-3, 7-5 while top seed Casper Ruud came back from losing the second set to beat Sebastian Baez 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 in the Round of 32.

Seventh seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain went down to Luca Van Assche 6-3, 6-7(5), 4-6 while Lasio Djere defeated Guido Peila of Argentina 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

Ruud bounced back from his Bastad final defeat on Wednesday when he overcame Argentine Sebastian Baez 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 to reach the second round.

The Norwegian, who is making his fourth appearance at the ATP 500 clay-court event, won 46 per cent (33/71) of points on Baez’s first serve to earn his 21st tour-level clay-court win of the season after one hour and 58 minutes.

Ruud will next meet Chilean Cristian Garin. The top seed is chasing his second tour-level title of the season, having triumphed on clay in Estoril in April. Last week Ruud reached the championship match in Bastad, where he lost against Rublev.

Ruud advanced to the semifinals in his previous appearance in Hamburg in 2020 and will be aiming for another deep run in Germany as he tries to climb in the ATP Live Race To Turin. The 24-year-old is currently eighth and is pursuing a third consecutive appearance in the ATP Finals.

–IANS

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