Andrey Rublev continued his love affair with the Hamburg European Open Wednesday, moving past lucky loser Ricardas Berankis 6-3, 6-4 to reach the second round.
The second seed hit through the Lithuanian with his precise and powerful groundstrokes, while he stepped up his intensity in the key moments to shrug off a second-set Berankis comeback and advance after 73 minutes.
Rublev now holds a 10-2 record at the ATP 500 clay-court event, having advanced to the final in 2019, before he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas to lift the trophy in his previous appearance in 2020.
“I am happy with my performance. Ricardas is a really tough player. He hits the ball really hard and plays fast, so I had to bring intensity from the first game,” Rublev said in his on-court interview. “I am really happy with how I was serving today and I hit some great shots from the baseline.