'Never happened before': Tennis world goes berserk over bizarre Rublev streak

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Andrey Rublev (pictured) celebrating the Rotterdam Open victory.
Andrey Rublev (pictured) reached the semi-final without playing a game with a bye and two walkovers. (Getty Images)

The tennis world has erupted after tennis star Andrey Rublev walked into the semi-final of the Qatar Open without playing a match after an unprecedented run.

The World No.8, who has been in hot form to start the 2021 season, recently won the Rotterdam Open and was one of the favourites heading into the tournament in Doha.

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He was seeded No.3, behind Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem, received a bye in his first round.

But the 23-year-old second round opponent, Frenchman Richard Gasquet, pulled out with a leg injury.

Rublev's quarter-final opponent Martin Fucsovics, who lost to the Russian in the Rotterdam Open final, pulled out due to a back problem following his two wins.

The Russian's bizarre run to the semi-final, without playing a point, is the first time in ATP Tour history (since 1990) that a player received back-to-back walkovers at a tournament.

Rublev is set to play Roberto Bautista Agut after he defeated top seed Thiem.

Many fans joked Rublev was going to win the tournament threw walkovers.

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Rublev picked up 90 ranking points for the pass to the semi-final.

To put this in comparison, American Taylor Fritz played 88 games to earn his points.

Rublev also made history back in 2017 when he won his first career title at the Croatia Open and became only the seventh 'lucky loser' to win an ATP title.

A 'lucky loser' is a player who fails to qualify for a tournament, but then gains entry after another player withdraws from the competition.

Roger Federer's loss at Qatar Open

The big talking point of the day was when Roger Federer, on his comeback, held a one-set lead and match point only to lose to Nikoloz Basilashvili on Thursday.

In the second match of his comeback event after 14 months away from tennis, Federer secured the first set but eventually wilted and lost the quarter-final clash 6-3, 1-6, 5-7.

On Wednesday, the 39-year-old marked his first match since losing to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open semi-finals in January 2020 by defeating Britain's Dan Evans, also in three sets.

On Thursday, Federer had a match point in the third set before his Georgian opponent fought back to end the 20-time grand slam champion's tournament.

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