Russian teenager Andrey Rublev (pictured above) notched the biggest win of his career on Thursday, knocking out the seventh-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 7-5, 7-6(3), 6-3 to reach the U.S. Open third round.
Rublev, just 19-years-old, powered his way into the third round of a major for the first time in his career, hitting 36 winners and saving eight break points to defeat Dimitrov in straight sets. He fought back from a break down in each of the first two sets, and held on to his own break advantage in the third set.
“I was just thinking to try to focus, just to try to fight, no matter if I am losing with a break. And in the end, I was a little bit lucky,” Rublev said. “I made a few good returns. I hit a few points close to the line and in the end I broke.
The main thing was, I was just pushing myself to try to show emotions, and try to fight for every point, even if I’m a break down. That’s how it works.”
Rublev will look to continue that fight when he meets Damir Dzumhur in the next stage. The Bosnia-Herzegovina native ousted German qualifier Cedrik-Marcel Stebe in four sets on Thursday.
In the match that followed Rublev’s victory, sixth-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem (pictured below) defeated young American Taylor Fritz 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 to book his spot in the third round.
Thiem moves on to play 30th seed Adrian Mannarino of France, who ended the run of American wild card Bjorn Fratangelo with a 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-1, 6-2 triumph.
Inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, Roger Federer had to endure his second straight five-set match, this time moving past Mikhail Youzhny 6-1, 6-7(3), 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 to reach the third round. Federer hit 63 winners total in the match and will play 31st seed Feliciano Lopez of Spain next.
Lopez got past compatriot Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.
Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at email@example.com.