Andrey Rublev after saving 5 MPs: How many more Christmas presents I have left?


Andrey Rublev jokingly wondered how many more early Christmas presents he has left after winning another match in 2023 when he was facing match points.

On Wednesday, Rublev saved five match points en route to edging out Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 1-6 7-6 (8) 7-6 (3) in the Dubai round-of-16.

In January, Rublev survived Holger Rune’s two match points during their Australian Open round-of-16 match.

Last week in Doha, Rublev managed to save three match points in a round-of-16 win over Tallon Griekspoor.

“When you’re 3 times lucky, almost last 3 tournaments,  it’s like, ‘How many more I have there Christmas presents?'” Rublev told Reem Abulleil. 

How Rublev defeated Davidovich Fokina?

Davidovich Fokina got off to an outstanding start to the match, earning back-to-back breaks for an early 5-0 lead.

In the sixth game, Rublev finally got on the board but it didn’t change much as Davidovich Fokina served out for the first set in the following game.

After suffering two breaks of serve in the first set, Rublev started to serve much better in the second set as he didn’t face a single break point during the set.

But Rublev also didn’t have a single break point chance in the second set as the set had to be resolved in a tie-break.

In the second-set tie-break, Rublev won the first four points before taking a 6-1 lead. 

Facing five consecutive match points, Rublev appeared to be finished.

But then Rublev stunningly responded, winning the next seven points to save all five match points and send the match into a decider.

In the third set, the only break points of the set were seen in the fifth game, when Rublev missed out on two break points.

As no breaks of serve were seen in the third set, the set had to be resolved in another tie-break.

This time, Rublev made a much better start to the tie-break as he won the first two points before taking a 6-1 lead.

Davidovich Fokina managed to save Rublev’s first two match points but the Russian converted his third match point to complete a stunning comeback win.

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