4 Russians Started, Only Youzhny Prevailed

St. Petersburg Open, Russia

[6] Milos Raonic (CAN) vs. [53] Mikhail Youzhny (RUS)

Defending champion, Raonic, could not sustain his momentum.  After a dominant first set, it looked like it would be an easy victory for the Canadian. Yet, Raonic has been prone to folding under the pressure of expectation and today was no exception.  He managed to lose the second set from a winning position and was forced to a decider.  Finally home court advantage paid dividends and the Russian won 2-6, 7-6(6), 6-4.


2016azverev[27] Alexander Zverev (GER) vs. [144] Daniil Medvedev (RUS)

I had never seen this young Russian play and he came out on fire, breaking Zverev early to take a 3-0 lead.  Yet, Zverev is growing up right before our eyes.  So much is expected of the young German, we forget he is still a teenager.  He was tested today by the Russian, but Zverev elevated his game when it was obvious that his opponent was not going away without a fight.  Zverev won 6-3, 7-5.  He will play Youzhny in the quarterfinals and perhaps he can avenge his loss from earlier this year.


[9] Tomas Berdych (CZE) vs. [46] Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS)

Kuznetsov had opportunities to steal this match.  Berdych looking a little rusty after his little break from the Tour was in danger of being broken numerous times.  Unfortunately, the Russian failed to convert on crucial opportunities in the third set.  Berdych, mentally stronger, was able to weather the attack from Kuznetsov and came back to win 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(4).


2016jsousa[34] Joao Sousa (POR) vs. [191] Andrey Rublev (RUS)

The talented Russian teenager had Sousa on the ropes; unfortunately his emotions got the better of him and he unraveled in the third set to lose the match.  His talent is obvious; yet, tennis as in most individual sports is 50% talent and 50% mental and some days the mental component is more important.  Today experience and mental maturity prevailed and Sousa pulled out the victory 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-3.  Next up is the always dangerous Spaniard, Roberto Bautista Agut.



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