Andrey Rublev has fired down 12 aces in a comfortable 6-3 6-4 first-round win over Ricardas Berankis at the Hamburg Open.
It was Rublev’s first match in northern Germany since winning the tournament in 2020.
The 24-year-old now holds a 10-2 record at the ATP 500 clay-court event, having advanced to the final in 2019, before he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas to lift the trophy in his previous appearance.
“I am happy with my performance. Ricardas is a really tough player,” Rublev said in his on-court interview.
“He hits the ball really hard and plays fast, so I had to bring intensity from the first game.
“I am really happy with how I was serving today and I hit some great shots from the baseline.”
Rublev is aiming to win his fourth tour-level title of the season after clinching crowns in Marseille, Dubai and Belgrade earlier this year and arrives in Hamburg off the back of a run to the…