Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev furiously slams his racquet into his knee SIX TIMES during a meltdown in Turin – as he suffers defeat against Carlos Alcaraz at the ATP Finals
- The Wimbledon champion cruised to victory in straight sets 7-5 6-2 in Italy
- Alcaraz makes his debut ATP Finals appearance after missing out due to injury
- Rublev’s defeats to Daniil Medvedev and the Spaniard makes qualifying unlikely
Andrey Rublev cut open his knee after hitting himself six times with his racquet during a burst of on-court frustration against Carlos Alcaraz during their ATP Finals clash.
After being overturned 7-5 in the opening set, the Russian world No 5 cut an increasingly pent-up figure as he crashed his racquet into the court after missing a shot to hand Alcaraz break point in the first game of the second.
Missing the ensuing shot and being broken by the Wimbledon champion, the 26-year-old chose to punish himself, bringing the racquet down again and again until his kneecap was bloodied.
An emotional Rublev was then tended to by members of his team during the break between games, and continued play with the wound continuing to weep.
Upon Rublev’s unravelling, Alcaraz – who had been matched well in the first set until his final break of serve – was able to waltz away with the victory in their first career meeting in straight sets, 7-5, 6-2.
Andrey Rublev vented his frustration during his ATP Finals clash with Carlos Alcaraz by hitting his racquet against his knee six times
The world No 5 was forced to play on with a bleeding kneecap as he saw out the nervy defeat
Rublev had earlier taken out his fury on the court after setting Alcaraz up for break point
When asked about his knee injury after Wednesday’s match, Rublev was reticent when he pronounced it ‘okay’, adding: ‘nothing. Nothing happened’.
But in the press conference after his defeat, the Russian expressed his personal disappointment with his form at the end of the season.
The tie is Rublev’s second in Turin, and second defeat after losing to his compatriot and close friend Daniil Medvedev 6-4 6-2 in his tournament opener.
‘It’s not easy to take these defeats because I really wanted to finish the season wel,’ Rublev said. ‘Sometimes, when things don’t work out, it’s inevitable to be disappointed and today, I didn’t knew how to handle it.
‘No matter who I face, I never want to lose and even more so since the season is over and I haven’t been able to show the best of myself in this tournament.
‘It’s very disappointing that I was not able to manage my frustration better,’ the player added.
The world No 5 cut a disconsolate figure as he was tended to by his team during the break
Alcaraz looked rusty in defeat against Alexander Zverev but was back to his best versus Rublev
Two losses on the trot leaves the player languishing last in his red group, behind Alcaraz in the lead, Medvedev, and Alexander Zverev, who Rublev will face in his final round-robin tie.
Before heading into the competition, Rublev was knocked out of the Paris Masters by eventual champion Novak Djokovic.
But the world No 1 has had a surprise start to the tournement in Turin – in his green group, Jannik Sinner leads the pack after defeating Djokovic for the first time in their head-to-head history.
The Italian was made to work for his victory against the US Open champion, but went the distance to claim the 7-5 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-2) win in just over three hours.
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