DOHA (AFP) – Rising Russian star Andrey Rublev blasted his way through to the semi-finals of the Qatar Open on Thursday (Jan 4), brushing aside Borna Coric in straight sets.
The 20-year-old won 6-3, 7-5 following a powerful display of hitting against a Croatian opponent who had accounted for the number two seed Pablo Carreno Busta in the first round.
Rublev confirmed his status as one of the game’s emerging stars by hitting 35 winners in a dominant performance.
A break of Coric’s serve in the eleventh game of the final set proved decisive before he served out for victory.
The world number 39 will play Guido Pella, ranked 64, in the semi-finals.
The Argentinian easily saw off Bosnian qualifier Mirza Basic 6-2, 6-3.
Number one seed and world number five, Austria’s Dominic Thiem plays later against another highly-rated youngster, Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Thiem is the only seed left in the competition.
Greek teenager Tsitsipas, grandson of a former Soviet Union international footballer, was highly impressive in beating number five seed Richard Gasquet in the second round.
Tsitsipas, 19, is the youngest quarter-finalist in Doha for more than a decade.
The final quarter-final, also to be played on Thursday, is between French wildcard Gael Monfils and Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk.