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Lorenzo Sonego Defeats Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov Advances At Roland Garros | ATP Tour

Lorenzo Sonego Defeats Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov Advances At Roland Garros | ATP Tour

Lorenzo Sonego rallied from two sets to love down for the first time in his career on Friday, when he battled past World No. 7 Andrey Rublev 5-7, 0-6, 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-3 at Roland Garros.

In an epic clash, the Italian showed an abundance of spirit and quality, hanging in points against the big-hitting Rublev to earn his sixth Top 10 win. After losing the first two sets, Sonego started to play more aggressively, using his forehand to open up the court against Rublev, who lost from two sets to love up for the first time.

“It is a miracle,” Sonego said. “I played my best tennis today. It was tough after one hour when I was two sets down. It was an incredible comeback today. Thanks for all the support.

“I played more aggressively. When he is aggressive, it is tough to compete. I tried to do my best on serve and I had to play more aggressive at the net. I played every point with the right attitude.”

Into the fourth round at a major for the third time, Sonego will next play 11th seed Karen Khachanov.

Sonego held a 0-6 record against Top 20 players at majors heading into the match on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, but combined guile with power to advance after three hours and 45 minutes. The 28-year-old is up nine spots to No. 39 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings following his biggest win of the season.

Rublev is a two-time quarter-finalist in Paris and was chasing his first major title this fortnight. He enjoyed a strong clay swing, winning his maiden ATP Masters 1000 crown in Monte-Carlo before he reached the final in Banja Luka.

He was unable to stop the Sonego surge in the third, fourth and fifth sets on Friday, though, with the Italian improving to 2-1 in their ATP Head2Head series.

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Karen Khachanov earned his 20th win at Roland Garros when he battled hard to reach the fourth round for the sixth time.

In a big-hitting clash, the 11th seed Khachanov overcame Australian wild card Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-4, 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(5) in front of a packed crowd on Court Simonne-Mathieu.

Khachanov, who rallied from two sets to love down in his opening round against Constant Lestienne, reached the quarter-finals in Paris in 2019. He will aim to advance to that stage again when he Sonego in the last 16.

Khachanov played aggressively throughout the first two sets, striking 20 winners to take control. Kokkinakis responded by clinching the third set and had the chance to force a deciding set, serving for the fourth at 5-4. The 27-year-old Khachanov refused to go away, though, saving one set point to break back before he rallied from 2/4 in the fourth-set tie-break to earn a thrilling victory after three hours and 44 minutes.

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With his 22nd tour-level win of the season, Khachanov improved to 2-0 in his ATP Head2Head series against Kokkinakis, who won a five-set epic against Stan Wawrinka in the second round.

Aiming to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time, Khachanov is currently ninth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin. He has found his best level at majors in recent years, advancing to the semi-finals at the US Open in 2022 and the Australian Open earlier this season.

Did You Know?
The seventh seed Rublev is the fourth Top 10 seed to lose at Roland Garros this week, joining second seed Daniil Medvedev, eighth seed Jannik Sinner and 10th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime.

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