Australian Open 2023, Andrey Rublev defeats Holger Rune with a cruel last blow
Commentators could hardly believe what they were seeing as men’s No. 6 seed Andrey Rublev outlasted teenage sensation Holger Rune in a match “with more twists and turns than a Dan Brown novel”.
That quote came from former South African professional Rob Koenig, who spent the final hour of the five-set epic on the edge of his seat and, presumably, hands to his head.
It wasn’t the highest level of tennis seen at this Australian Open, but the match certainly provided more drama than your average reality show.
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At one point, Koenig almost found himself at a loss for words in the comment box.
“What’s going on? Koenig declared late in the fifth set.
“It’s just amazing what’s happening.”
Match Summary: Andrey Rublev vs. Holger Rune
Rublev eventually won the match 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (11-9) in three hours and 39 minutes at Rod Laver Arena.
But not before looking down multiple times, only for 19-year-old Rune to give in.
“The amount of drama in the last hour is something I’ve rarely seen on a tennis court,” Koenig said after the match.
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Rublev won the first set, then Rune the second, before the latter had to receive medical treatment and doctors checked his blood pressure on the court.
Commentators and fans alike assumed Rune wouldn’t go the distance, having waved to his “I’m done” box during the third set, which Rublev took.
But Rune somehow bounced back in the fourth and it was Rublev who looked for the count.
Rune broke early in the fifth, then had match points, but Rublev somehow saved them, then backed up to send him to a super tie-break.
The teenager then won the first five points in the tie-break and, again, he looked destined to win.
“It’s a pretty mature thing to do…to absorb all that disappointment (missing match points) and then come back and get the first five points in a tie-break,” John Fitzgerald said.
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” Impressive “.
But Rune played it safe and Rublev went on the attack, staging an incredible comeback to win the tie-break 11-9.
“What an absolutely insane seesaw match,” said Jim Courier.
Even the last point of the match was dramatic.
Rublev led the tiebreaker 10-9 when he hit a flat backhand that slammed into the net board, only to fall into Rune’s side of the net and break the teenager’s heart.
Koenig called the “cruel” end to an epic match.
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The pair then embraced and Rublev was still catching his breath when questioned on the pitch.
“I’m not talking about the roller coaster…it’s like they put a gun to your head,” Rublev said when asked about his chosen sport.
“Roller coasters are much easier.
“I have no words, man. I’m shaking.”
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