French Open: Rublev Eases Past Martinez, Advances to Third Round in Paris
Andrey Rublev contesting the Mutua Madrid Open. May 2, 2024. Madrid, Spain. Photo credit: Mutua Madrid Open Media.

World No. 6 Andrey Rublev eased past Spaniard Pedro Martinez to secure his spot at the French Open third round in his sixth appearance at the Slam on Wednesday in Paris.

On a rainy Wednesday in Paris, two-time Roland Garros quarterfinalist Andrey Rublev stepped on Court Suzanne Lenglen, with a fitted roof, for his second-round match against Spaniard Pedro Martinez.

Following a two-hour contest, the sixth-seeded player earned a straight-set victory over Martinez, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3, displaying a nearly flawless performance on serve to progress to the third round in Paris clay.

Next, he will face off against Italian Matteo Arnaldi or Frenchman Alexandre Muller, an encounter currently suspended due to the rain on Court 14.

The Moscow-born made a clean start to the first set, claiming his opening game at love.

Martinez, who achieved his best result this season in Estoril, finishing runner-up to Pole Hubert Hurkacz at the ATP 250 event, added pressure in lengthy baseline rallies, which did not harm Rublev’s game.

The 16-time ATP titlist, who hit just seven unforced errors all set, held his nerve, breaking in the sixth game with his forehand forcing shot and never looked back.

Then, he wrapped up the opener 6-3 in only 34 minutes without facing a lone break point throughout the set.

Moreover, a dominant showing on serve saw the 26-year-old winning 75 percent of the first serve points and an impressive 82 percent on his second delivery.

The world number six broke to open the second set, but the former Santiago Open title winner quickly regrouped, breaking straight back and held after a battle at deuce to grab a 2-1 lead.

Midway into the second set, the Mutua Madrid Open reigning champion’s ferocious ball-striking had produced 16 winners with his forehand, leaving little breathing room for his rival to attempt a recovery.

Regardless, the two-time ATP finalist raised his level in adversity, battling across a lengthy fourth game with the players going toe-to-toe.

Nonetheless, Martinez, who fended off two break points in the process, could not hold back his opponent from taking a double break with his backhand down-the-line winner, inching ahead 4-3.

Then, the 27-year-old from Alzira received medical treatment on his lower left leg and foot.

When play resumed, the former world number five imposed his rhythm, closing up 6-4 in 55 minutes.

Playing with aggression, the player mentored by Fernando Vicente took control of the match, breaking twice on his way to the triumph.

He claimed 80 percent of first-serve points, striking 56 winners to 25 unforced errors.

On Sunday, the two-time Masters 1000 winner launched his campaign at the French Open with a hard-fought 6-2, 6-7(3), 6-3, 7-5 win over World No. 80 Taro Daniel.

Rublev’s season has been marked by ups and downs, arriving at Roland Garros on a high level.

He made a positive start to his 2024 run until Dubai, where he was defaulted in his semifinal match against Alexander Bublik for yelling at the chair umpire.

It would take him to experience a four-match losing streak before getting back to winning ways, and he did it in style, capturing his maiden crown in Madrid, his sixth title on the clay courts.

In Rome, he fell in the second round, but his confidence was unmoved in preparation for the second Slam of the season.

Cecilia demartini
Sports Pundit staff writer @ceci_2812
Cecilia is a writer and journalist, passionate about motorsport and tennis.Her articles are published in newspapers and international online publications.

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