The Czech Republic has eliminated the first seed and the 2020 title. Lehecka has beaten Rublev in a stunning display of mental strength (4-6, 6-4, 6-3) and advances to the semi-finals.
The first duel of the semi-finals v Doha in front Rublev only Play protection. The Russian came from a more than complicated debut and had to save three match points against the Dutch Griekspoor. On the other side, Lehecka, who has played a flawless tournament so far and has not lost a set against Dzumhur or Ruusuvuori. There is a precedent for the face-off, when both met in Belgrade and the Russian won in three sets. Andrey was the favourite, but he wasn’t going to have an easy duel against one of the revelations of the Australian Open 2023.
Lehecka returns again in a great game
Rublev began to focus and knowing that his advantage had to start with an advantage on the scoreboard. He was able to take advantage of it and that is that in the third game he achieved a break, after confirming which he ended up 3-1. From that moment on, the Czech improved his service performance, but it was already too late and a bad start to the game had to punish him. Rublev without giving up a single break point to his rival and the fast track made the scoreboard 6-4 and took the first step towards the quarterfinals.
Lehecka wasn’t going to give up, and he’s going through a big confidence moment this 2023. Jiri took the initiative throughout the second set and passed the pressure on to the Russian, who slowly began to talk to himself disapproving gestures towards his tennis. After 4-5, Rublev felt those nerves and with many doubts he made mistakes and rushed in front of Lehecka, who was 0-40 with three set points. The Czech was right for the first time and forced the last part.
Rublev started to complain and decided to take a toilet break. Andrey had to quickly take over the points in the third set, otherwise the match could become complicated. Lehecka made one more march, steady, nerveless and without giving up points against Rublev, who suffered a setback. This made it 3-0 for the Czech Republic and Rublev had to react as soon as possible. 5-2 Jiri was closer to victory and surprise. Andrey went 3-5 and now he had to win the game no matter what he continues in the tournament. After Rublev’s failed shot, the situation was 40-0 and three match points. The rest online Andrey made him say goodbye to the tournament by being the first seed.