BÅSTAD JULY 8-21 2024

Andrey Rublev outlasts the defending champion Francisco Cerundulo in an epic battle

Andrey Rublev outlasts the defending champion Francisco Cerundulo in an epic battle

In a gripping three-set thriller, Andrey Rublev roared through the semi-finals to play his first final at the Nordea Open. Yet, defending champion Francisco Cerundolo did not go down without a fight. With the two first sets going into a tiebreak, Båstad Centre Court was treated to a sensational semi-final.

If the first match of the day ended on a thriller set, the second semi-final at Nordea Open between Andrey Rublev and Francisco Cerundolo is set to stay in the books for some time. The Argentinian was the defending champion in Båstad, and hoped to secure a spot in his second final in a row in Sweden. In the head-to-head, the Argentinian held a slight advantage, after winning their only encounter on clay in Hamburg last year. Since then, Andrey Rublev won his biggest title in Monte Carlo earlier this year. The stage was set for an incredible battle, and those two players delivered.

In a tense first set, both held their serve equally, forcing a deciding tiebreak. The packed stadium was on the edge of their seats, as it seemed extremely difficult to pick who would come out on top. At 6-6, the World No.7 was able to secure a mini-break and clinch the win, leading by a thread. 

The second set followed a very similar scenario, both players remaining extremely determined to win their service games. They had several opportunities to break each other’s serve. Rublev had three opportunities to break his opponent and Cerundolo obtained 8 breakpoints. However both of them could only convert one, meaning that it would take another tie-break to decide who would capture the second set. Båstad’s 2022 champion roared in the tiebreak, levelling-up the game for the fans in the stands’ greatest delight.

In the deciding set it looked like both players were following the same rhythm, however, at three games all, it was Rublev who managed once again to convert an instrumental break point to take the lead over the defending champion. After 2 hours and 47 minutes, in a true battle of nerves, Andrey Rublev defeated Francisco Cerundolo champion on the final score of 7-6, 6-7, 6-3. 

On Sunday Rublev will attempt to capture a first crown in Båstad, and a second title this year. A dream final awaits at the Nordea Open between the two top seeds of the tournament. The World No.7 will have the tough task to take on Casper Ruud of Norway in a final battle on clay.

Alice Froment
Nordea Open Press Team