At this point, when Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas run into each other, they must say, “We have to stop meeting like this.”
It is the “Next-Gen alumni” pairing that seems to occur most often these days.
And most often, it results in pretty dramatic, compelling tennis.
Rublev is 24-4 on the season now, and Tsitsipas is 21-5.
And if the Greek star wasn’t tested nearly as much as Rublev, who defeated Roberto Bautista Agut and Rafael Nadal back to back on is way to the final, he’s also fresher.
How far have they come?
Less than four years ago, the two teenagers were in the wilds of Roehampton, playing the final round of the Wimbledon qualifying on adjacent courts – at almost the same time.
Open Court was there as Tsitsipas defeated Joris de Loore, 7-5 in the fifth set. And Andrey Rublev defeated Paul-Henri Mathieu in the penultimate match of his career.
Here’s what it looked like.
Rublev was ranked No. 95 by then, but not soon enough to make the main-draw cut.
Tsitsipas was ranked No. 192.
He lost in the first round of the main draw to Dusan Lajovic.
Rublev made it to the second round, defeating Stefano Travaglia in five sets before losing to Albert Ramos-Viñolas in five sets.