Rublev Roars Into Hong Kong Tennis Open Quarterfinals

Andrey Rublev (photo: Tennis Photo Network)

HONG KONG, January 4, 2024 (Press Release)

World No. 5 and tournament top seed Andrey Rublev made his singles debut in Hong Kong Thursday at the Bank of China Hong Kong Tennis Open 2024 (BOCHKTO 2024), facing qualifier Liam Broady from Great Britain in today’s showcase match on Centre Court. 

Rublev beat Broady in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6(8), although the Briton on his 30th birthday put up a great fight in the second set.

“It was a really tough match, Liam played really well,” said the 26-year old Rublev, who started his season with a win and continued his streak from 2023 when he had a personal best 56 wins. 

“Liam was coming from the qualies, and won the first round, so he was feeling good in those conditions. For me it was the first match, it is always tough, it’s always nervous in the first match of the season, you want to have a great game. It was really a tough second set and I am happy that I was able to win in two sets.”

Rublev’s win sets up an enticing quarterfinal match with teenage sensation Arthur Fils Friday night beneath the bright lights on Centre Court. 

Another teenage star will be out to slay giants tomorrow as fan favourite Shang Juncheng faces off with World No. 16 Frances Tiafoe ahead of Rublev’s match with Fils.

Rublev and Tiafoe are the only two remaining top four seeds after Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo, the tournament fourth seed, fell to Spain’s Robert Bautista Agut, 7-5, 6-3, and Karen Khachanov (2nd seed) fell to Emil Ruusuvuori last night.

It was the second career win for World No. 57 Bautista Agut’s over World No. 21 Cerundolo.  

“I’m surprised. I thought I would have a tough loss, but I am happy that I played a good match today. I won in two sets and now I’m ready for tomorrow. I want to rest and recover and think about the match tomorrow,” Bautista Agut said after the match. 

In today’s second match on Centre Court, Fils defeated Swiss qualifier Marc-Andrea Huesler in the first ever meeting between the pair, 7-5, 7-5.

“I played a very good match against a very good opponent today. He’s playing very aggressive, but I managed to play some great passing shots and some great returns.  Felt pretty good today, let’s see about tomorrow,” said Fils, the highest ranked men’s teenager in the world at World No.36 who was voted ATP Newcomer of the Year last season and now faces tournament top seed Rublev.  

“Rublev, he’s top 5. A great champion, it will be a tough match for sure.”

Austria’s Sebastian Ofner and Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff had an epic match on Court 1 with Ofner winning in three sets, 7-6(4), 7-6(5), 7-6(2), to beat the fifth seed Struff.  Ofner will now face off with Bautista Agut in the quarterfinals tomorrow afternoon on Centre Court. 

Today also saw the final quarterfinal in doubles. Uruguay’s Ariel Behar and Czech Republic’s Adam Pavlasek beat Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador and Mate Pavic of Croatia 7-6(6), 6-3 to reach the semifinals against Austria’s Alexander Erler and Lucas Miedler. In the other quarterfinal, Botic Van de Zandschulp withdrew from the competition with illness allowing Great Britain’s Julian Cash and USA’s Robert Galloway to advance in a walkover against Belgian duo Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen in the first semifinal on Friday.