Andrey Rublev continued his brilliant start at the Astana Open with a controlled win over China’s Zhang Zhizhen while Marin Cilic had to battle past Germany’s Oscar Otte as the action continued in Kazakhstan city.
The Russian used all his experience to notch a 6-3, 6-2 during the pair’s first-ever meeting on the ATP Tour. World number 9’s full tennis repertoire was on display against Zhang as Rublev found his serve early to win a staggering 83% of his first-serve points and put the Chinaman in early trouble.
Such was his dominance that never faced a breakpoint on his serve while breaking his opponent three times during the course of the match.
After his win over Zhang Zhizhen in the Astana Open, Rublev will either take on Carlos Alcarz’s conqueror David Goffin or Frenchman Adrian Mannarino as he looks to book a place in this year’s ATP Finals.
Meanwhile, Marin Cilic began his Astana Open campaign with a three-set triumphant battle against Germany’s Oscar Otte, winning the contest 5-7, 7-6, 6-2.
The big-serving Croatian blinked first as the two traded blows to open the contest, dropping serve at the wrong time to hand the advantage off to the German.
A similar story followed in the second stanza as Cilic wasted numerous breakpoints before eventually winning the tiebreak to send the game into the decider. With momentum firmly on his side, the former US Open champion imposed his will to make way into the next round.
21-time grand slam winner Novak Djokovic is also set to make his bow in the tournament today as the race to Turin continues to heat up.