Alexandre Muller achieves the feat against Andrey Rublev in the third round of the Masters 1000 in Rome

Fresh from the qualifiers, Alexandre Muller is enjoying a dream tournament in Rome, where he caused a sensation this Monday by eliminating Andrey Rublev, 6th in the world and recent winner of the Masters 1000 in Madrid (3-6, 6-3, 6-2 in 1h47). The 27-year-old Frenchman, ranked 109th ATP, had never beaten a top 20 player until today, which makes his victory even more exceptional.

For once it is on the backhand that Rublev behaves badly at the start of the match, going on the counterattack in the fourth game (1-3) against a catchy but too exposed Muller serving the second ball. More incisive on the forehand (which hits on average 20 km/h faster than Muller), Rublev could have won the first set even faster (6-3 in 33 minutes) if he had transformed one of his three balls into a double break ( two at 4-1, one at 5-2).

A second high-level set

In the second round Muller began to compare himself much better with the Russian, as he often does in the incessant discussions with his clan when his game does not completely convince him. Muller had warned that he would try to bring it down by trying to be as solid as possible.

His strategy found its reward in the eighth game, during which Rublev got a smash, committed a double fault and some other errors that cost him the break, the Frenchman’s fourth chance in this match (5-3 ). Muller confirmed his authority by concluding, after 1h11 of play, an excellent set, which saw him hit twelve winning shots for just two unforced errors.

The third set turns into a demonstration

Completely angry, not understanding why his game had gone wrong and making his clan feel his frustration, Rublev then failed to contain the Frenchman, who remained firmly on his cloud of the second set, defending wonderfully, wisely distilling the drop shot, without ever losing his line of conduct and break at 1-1. Sereno, despite the great performance that was emerging, he also knew how to make perfect use of his defensive forehand.

Increasingly frustrated, Rublev offered him three double break points on a double fault. Muller was quick to seize the opportunity. The last round began to turn into a demonstration. Impeccable until the end, even if Rublev didn’t show his head, he won in less than two hours, with a well-controlled final serve (3-6, 6-3, 6-2). A big smile on his lips, he could raise his arms in the air.

Thanks to the good overall results of the last few months, Alexandre Muller was already sure of receiving a wild card at the next Roland-Garros (26 May – 9 June). Before turning his gaze towards Parisian soil, now certain of returning to the top 100 next week, he will try to extend his dream tournament at the Foro Italico. In the round of 16 in Rome he will face the winner of the match between the Chilean Nicolas Jarry (24th) and the Italian guest Stefano Napolitano (125th).

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