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Rublev: Arnaldi stuns Rublev on good day for Italians...

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Published Time: 31.05.2024 - 23:17:11 Modified Time: 31.05.2024 - 23:17:11

Rublev had come through a less-than-convincing first outing against Taro Daniel and was helped in part by Pedro Martinez’s foot injury in his subsequent match, but showed promise through the early stages on Friday. Rublev



Matteo Arnaldi will contest the second week at Roland-Garros for the first time after playing what he describes as the best tennis of his life to topple sixth seed Andrey Rublev on Friday.

Arnaldi had never beaten a top 20 opponent on clay or a top 10 rival at a major but stood and delivered in his opening two rounds as he broke French hearts with wins over 29th seed Arthur Fils and then Alexandre Muller.

Rublev had come through a less-than-convincing first outing against Taro Daniel and was helped in part by Pedro Martinez’s foot injury in his subsequent match, but showed promise through the early stages on Friday.

As rain threatened to close the roof, he sensed his chance and drove the Italian from side to side to land the first break.

Those patches of baseline brilliance, however, proved difficult to sustain and consolidation seemed elusive as the errors began to spray from the sixth seed’s strings.

There was an air of positivity Arnaldi’s cause. After outfoxing his opponent to finish an all-court point at net with a high backhand volley winner, the Italian beamed widely and raised his arm to an appreciative Suzanne-Lenglen crowd on his way to 6-5.

His belief was only building. After fending off a set point in the tie-break, he secured it on his most unlikely winner, scrambling to a drop volley to angle the ball past a rattled Rublev.

As much as the 23-year-old increasingly held sway over proceedings with the roof now closed, Rublev was often times his own worst enemy, furiously berating his performance in slow conditions throughout a lopsided second set.

Rublev – a quarter-finalist in six of his past seven Slams – needed to summon every ounce of his superior experience on this stage to pull off an escape, but there was no containing the Italian after he ripped a forehand return winner for the only break of the third set.

He served it out after two hours and 33 minutes to set a fourth-round clash against ninth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas or China’s Zhang Zhizhen.


Arnaldi had the numbers to back his claim of a peak performance after he finished with 47 winners – 40 of those on his heavier forehand – 10 more than his opponent, while his unforced error count of 19 was just shy of half Rublev’s.

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