Australian Open news 2023, Andrey Rublev beats Holger Rune with cruel last shot

Tennis

Commentators could barely believe what they were seeing as men’s No.6 seed Andrey Rublev outlasted teen sensation Holger Rune in a match ”with more twists and turns than a Dan Brown novel”.

That quote came from former South African professional Rob Koenig, who spent the final hour of the five-set epic on the edge of his seat and, presumably, his hands on his head.

It wasn’t the highest level of tennis seen at this Australian Open but the match certainly provided more drama than your average reality show.

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At one point Koenig almost found himself lost for words inside the commentary box.

”What is going on?” Koenig said late in the fifth set.

“It’s just unbelievable what is going on.”

Match Highlights: Andrey Rublev v Holger Rune

Rublev eventually won the match 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (11-9) in three hours and 39 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

But not before he looked down and out several times, only for 19-year-old Rune to capitulate himself.

“The amount of drama in the last hour or so was something I have rarely seen on a tennis court,” Koenig said after the match.

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Rublev won the first set and then Rune the second, before the latter had to receive medical attention and had doctors checking his blood pressure courtside.

Commentators and fans assumed Rune wouldn’t last the distance, having gestured to his box “I’m done” during the third set, which Rublev took.

But Rune somehow rebounded in the fourth and it was Rublev who looked out for the count.

Rune broke early in the fifth, then had match points, but Rublev somehow saved them and then broke back to send it to a super tiebreak.

The teenager then won the first five points of the tiebreak and, once again, he looked destined to win.

“This is a fairly mature thing to do… to soak up all that disappointment (of missing match points), and then come back and get the first five points in a tiebreak,” John Fitzgerald said.

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“Impressive.”

But Rune played it safe and Rublev went on the attack, mounting an incredible comeback to win the tiebreak 11-9.

“What an absolutely crazy seesaw match,” Jim Courier said.

Even the final point of the match was dramatic.

Rublev led the tiebreak 10-9 when he hit a flat backhand that smashed into the net tape, only to fall on Rune’s side of the net and break the teen’s heart.

Koenig called it a “cruel” end to an epic match.

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The pair embraced afterwards, and Rublev was still catching his breath when being interviewed on court.

“I don’t about rollercoaster… this is like they put a gun to your head,” Rublev said when asked about his chosen sport.

“Rollercoaster is much easier.

“I have no words, man. I am shaking.”

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