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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday April 1, 2021

 
Rublev

Andrey Rublev topped Sebastian Korda to reach his first Masters 1000 semifinal on Thursday in Miami.

Photo Source: Getty

Andrey Rublev has never been one to hesitate when an opportunity presents itself, and the No.4-seeded Russian pounced on his chances on Thursday night at the Miami Open, defeating Sebastian Korda 7-5, 7-6(7) to reach his first career Masters 1000 semifinal.

Tennis Express


“I have chances to try to go deep in the tournament,” a satisfied Rublev said after his match. “In the end, I already went deep here. I did semifinal, one more semifinal, which is my first one in Masters. So it's already great result for me. And then we will see if I can do better or not.”

Facing a rising American that had tapped a rich vein of form in Miami, Rublev braved a pair of rain delays in the opening set, as well as the blistering groundstrokes of the 20-year-old Korda to notch his ATP-leading 20th win of the season.

It was a far from simple conquest. Rublev failed to serve out the opening set when he was broken at love by Korda for 4-5, but he did bide his time nicely and broke for 7-5 to claim the first set.


The second set appeared to be going his way as well, but Korda threw a wrench his plans for a breezy victory when he emerged from a medical timeout hobbled (looked to be the left thigh or groin) but in possession of a reckless abandon that would guide him to another break with Rublev serving for the match.

Apparently Korda plays pretty well when he’s hurt. The fact that he couldn’t move the way he would have liked forced him to take giant cuts at the ball and he did so with remarkable precision, even threatening to take the second set tiebreak, before faltering in the final few points to allow Rublev to finish off his milestone victory.

"I came back and I had a couple mini breaks in the tiebreaker," Korda said after the match. "And, yeah, it was just a couple points here and there I would still be out on court right now."

A Magnificent Miami Debut for Korda

Korda had never won a Masters 1000 match before but he took care of that with a first-round win over Radu Albot. His first career Top 20 win over Fabio Fognini followed, and next came a triumph over Dubai champion Aslan Karatsev in the third round.

In the round of 16 Korda toppled World No.9 Diego Schwartzman in three sets for his first Top 10 win. Despite his defeat today, the American has announced himself as a player to watch in 2021. His pure ball-striking is eye opening, as his remarkable poise. Korda has played only 20 tour-level matches but already he conducts himself like a veteran on court.

He will rise over 20 spots in the ATP rankings to a projected 64 in the ATP rankings on Monday, and he was ranked 225 when the ATP restarted last August.

Rublev, who will face Hubert Hurkacz for a spot in the final on Friday, came away impressed by the American.

“Sebastian is a really great player,” he said. “He's really talented. He have big shots and he feel confident and he go for them. Most of them he's making it. So in the end, that's why he's great. He have a big serve. Really great at the net. He's smart. And, yeah, he play aggressive. He try to take the lead and go for the shots. That's why he beat so many great players.”


 

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