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Tennis News• Rublev Wins Tour-Leading Fifth Title In 2020, Millman Becomes First-Time Champion

Andrey Rublev of Russia wears a protective face mask after winning his final match against Lorenzo Sonego of Italy at the Erste Bank Open ATP tennis tournament in Vienna, Austria, 01 November 2020. EPA-EFE/CHRISTIAN BRUNA

By Ricky Dimon

Novak Djokovic and Andrey Rublev shared the 2020 ATP Tour lead in titles with four apiece heading into the Erste Bank Open. Now there is just one man at the top….

…And it’s Rublev.

The world No. 8 captured his fifth title of the year–and third 500-pointer of the fall–when he defeated lucky loser Lorenzo Sonego 6-4, 6-4 in Sunday’s final. Rublev held all 10 of his service games while saving both of the break points he faced to triumph in one hour and 18 minutes. It was high-quality content in which the two competitors combined for 13 aces (seven by Sonego, six by Rublev) and zero double-faults.

Already in position to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals following a quarterfinal performance at the U.S. Open, Rublev’s fall swing also includes titles in Hamburg and St. Petersburg plus a quarterfinal run at Roland Garros. The 23-year-old officially punched his ticket to London with this result in Vienna.

“I’m happy,” Rublev assured. “I’m happy that I won the title here. I’m happy that I will compete in London for the first time. I’m really looking forward (to it). There are still so many things I need to improve and it’s going to be a good challenge for me to see what exactly I need to improve to be at that level–to be able to compete against the top eight players.”

It was still a great week for Sonego, who not only competed with the top player in the world but also thrashed him 6-1, 6-2. The 42nd-ranked, who needed a lucky-loser spot just to get into the main draw, lost only three games to Djokovic in the quarterfinals.

“This was one of the best tournaments of this year,” Sonego said. “It was an amazing final for me…. Today was not so easy because Rublev has confidence,” Sonego assessed. “This is his fifth final in one year; this is amazing. For me, it’s only the first.”

It was a first-ever ATP title for John Millman at the Astana Open, where he beat Adrian Mannarino 7-5, 6-1 on Sunday. The 31-year-old Australian had previously been 0-2 lifetime in finals.

John Millman of Australia wins his first ATP title at the Astana Open.

“It is incredible; I am so happy and relieved,” Millman explained. “I just feel very satisfied. It is just a pure moment of satisfaction…. That was my third final; third time lucky I guess. These things aren’t easy to win, and to do so at a place where I felt so comfortable all week–in terms of the hospitality–makes it really special. To win the inaugural Astana Open is special. I am so happy. It has been a big team effort and I am pumped.”

Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.