Rublev rallies to dodge difficult Djere

Two-time quarter-finalist maintained his unbeaten record against the Serb

Andrey Rublev, Roland-Garros 2023, first round© Julien Crosnier/FFT
 - Alex Sharp

World No.7 Andrey Rublev is up and running at Roland-Garros 2023 with a resolute 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Laslo Djere.

In the US Open first round last August, Rublev needed five sets to escape the industrious Serb. This time the 25-year-old was "too calm" but still found the energy and answers in four sets on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.

Showing glimpses of the form that landed him a first Masters 1000 title last month in Monte-Carlo, Rublev moves on to face a Frenchman in the second round in Corentin Moutet.

Story of the Match

You can only truly comprehend the power and force Rublev inflicts on a ball if you witness it live.

The seven-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist immediately found his range, soaring 3-1 up courtesy of a lasered backhand down the line. Confidence was flowing and a serve and forehand drive volley combination in the next game ensured he had the set covered.

The No.7 seed seemed unstoppable, but Djere was undeterred and tested Rublev's patience with inch-perfect shots, teasing the errors off his opponent's racquet to level up.

In the middle of the match, Djere connected with a magical reaction drop volley from just inside the baseline, but Rublev's firepower was relentless. The No.7 seed edged towards the second round, scuttling left across the baseline to arch a sublime inside-out forehand winner.

With a trademark roar towards his team the 25-year-old dominated the remaining key exchanges.


Andrey Rublev, 1er tour, Roland-Garros 2023©Julien Crosnier / FFT

Key stats

Rublev is now 13-3 on clay this season, including his Monte-Carlo Masters trophy; Sunday's success will remind his opponents of his standout recent form.

He'll want to rise through the gears in the next round, though. Rublev landed only 55 per cent of first serves, which prevented him from fully controlling the pace of play.

Cutting off the rally could enable him to break more frequently, and he ended the match converting 6/13 break points.

What the winner said

On his energy levels: "I think after the first set my mood was too calm. My energy was a little low. Too calm, but not in a good way, when it looks like you don’t care. He then played a bit better, but I was too quiet, it was just the same energy.

"In the third set, a break down, I got my energy back and managed to turn around the match."

On being called one of the favourites: "That's too much," joked Rublev. "I want to do my best. Everything is possible to go as deep as possible and then we'll see what happens.

"Now, all of the players can play really good. We can see so many ups and downs, when someone lower ranked beats a higher player, it's happening more often. I'll try my best for sure."