Tennis

Andrey Rublev Rolls Past Harris At Wimbledon | ATP Tour

Fifth seed Andrey Rublev’s strong grass-court form continued on Wednesday as he eased past Lloyd Harris 6-1, 6-2, 7-5, to reach the third round at Wimbledon for the first time.

The Russian star now holds a 6-1 record on the surface this year, having advanced to the final at the NOVENTI OPEN in Halle (l. to Humbert) earlier this month. Rublev struck 24 winners against Harris to record victory in just 85 minutes.

Rublev helped Russia capture the ATP Cup crown in February and claimed the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament title in Rotterdam (d. Fucsovics) in March. He will next face 26th seed Fabio Fognini, after the Italian defeated Laslo Djere 6-3, 6-4, 0-6, 6-4.

The 23-year-old raced through the first set against Harris, breaking twice to seize control as he struck the ball cleanly from the baseline. Rublev continued where he had left off in the second set to lead 4-1 as he won 77 per cent (10/13) of his first-service points. He sealed the set when Harris hit a forehand long.

The Russian showcased a mixture of power and precision on his backhand and found consistent depth on his forehand return throughout the third set.

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Elsewhere, Jeremy Chardy snapped a fourth-match losing streak and claimed his first grass-court victory of the season as he overcame 2021 breakthrough star Aslan Karatsev 7-6(4), 7-6(6), 6-3.

The Frenchman hit 13 aces and won 75 per cent (38/51) of his first-service points to advance to the second round in two hours and 27 minutes. The 34-year-old is now 16-15 on the season and next faces Ilya Ivashka.

“To be back at Wimbledon is very special,” Chardy said. “I love to play on grass. I was lucky to spend one week at home before the tournament, so I was really happy to enjoy that with the family. I am really happy with my match today, I think I played a really solid match from the beginning to the end.”

Chardy, No. 61 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, enjoyed a run to the semi-finals at the Antalya Open (l. to Bublik) in January. He produced a strong display to defeat 20th seeded-Russian Karatsev, who was making his Wimbledon debut. In a tight opening set, Karatsev saved the only break point in the 12th game to force a tie-break, which Chardy sealed when Karatsev netted a backhand.

History repeated itself in the second set with Chardy clinching another tie-break, after both fended off break points. He then fired 10 winners in the third set to advance.

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Karatsev has enjoyed a best-ever season, recording 23 tour-levels wins. The 27-year-old claimed the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title in March (d. Harris) after a run to the semi-finals at the Australian Open in February (l. to Djokovic). The Russian lost in qualifying at SW19 in 2014 and 2015.

Meanwhile, the 25th seed Karan Khachanov moved past Egor Gerasimov 6-1, 7-6(3), 6-3 to set up a third-round meeting with Stefanos Tsitsipas’ conqueror, Frances Tiafoe.

Khachanov reached the third round at Wimbledon in 2019 and 2017 and fired 41 winners to equal his best-ever run at the All England Club. The Russian, who reached the semi-finals at the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon (l. to Norrie) in May, recorded victory in one hour and 51 minutes.

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