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Top junior Rublev on course for second major title

Andrey Rublev of Russia battles Jordi Arconada of Argentina on Court 17.
By Clair Maciel
Tuesday, September 2, 2014

WHAT HAPPENED: Top seed and junior boys’ world No. 1 Andrey Rublev of Russia registered a convincing 6-3, 7-6 win over Jordi Arconada of Argentina to move comfortably into the third round of the US Open junior event on Tuesday.

Rublev, 16, is having a stellar season, having won the French Open junior singles title and clinched the junior No. 1 ranking this past June. He is also competing for the doubles title with American Stefan Kozlov as the No. 1 team. The tandem previously reached the semifinals at Roland Garros this year. 

Against Arconada, Rublev grabbed an early service break for a 3-1 lead, playing a more consistent and error-free game than his opponent. He then broke again at 5-3 and put away the first set.

The second set was a tight contest, with both players serving well and exchanging long baseline rallies. Rublev was the first to blink dropping his serve at 4-4, to give the Argentine the lead and the chance to even the match. But Arconada couldn’t rise to the challenge, as Rublev broke back for 5-5.

In the tiebreak Rublev’s quick 5-1 advantage on a string of untimely errors from Arconada gave him a comfortable lead. He finished the match with a winner that caught the back line.

WHAT IT MEANS: Rublev will now face his toughest test in American No. 14 seed Taylor Harry Fritz in the third round. Their only previous meeting came at this year’s Nike Junior International event on grass, where Rublev won in three close sets.

THE QUESTION: Is Rublev’s game big enough to propel him through the draw this week and potentially claim the title?