Australian Open: Andrey Rublev beats wunderkind Holger Rune with lucky net cord on match point
Australian Open: Andrey Rublev had to rely on luck to beat rising star Holger Rune and reach the quarter-finals.
Andrey Rublev rallied back from the brink to dump Holger Rune out of the Australian Open and book a second quarter-final at Melbourne Park courtesy of a lucky net cord on match point that sealed a 6-3 3-6 6-3 4-6 7-6 (11-9) cliffhanger on Monday.
Fifth seed Rublev had to do it the hard way, having been 5-2 down in the final set at Rod Laver Arena and needing to save two match points to take contest into a 10-point tiebreak of unrelenting tension.
He slipped 5-0 behind in the breaker but roared back to lead 9-7 before ninth seed Rune saved two match points in a late twist.
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It took the net cord to separate them, with Rublev's final return clipping the net and popping over on the third match point, leaving the Dane no chance.
"(Tennis is) not a rollercoaster, it's like they put a gun to your head," Rublev said on court.
"I think a rollercoaster is a lot easier, man."
"I never in my life was able to win matches like this, this was the first time in my life I was able to win a match like this.
Rublev will meet the winner of nine-times champion Novak Djokovic and home favourite Alex de Minaur, who play in the night session.
"No-one wants to face Novak, I'd rather be in any other part of the draw," added Rublev wryly.