Andrey Rublev is on a searing 10-match winning streak after defeating Dominik Koepfer 7-5, 6-4 Sunday in a second-round match at the BNP Paribas Open. Only Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal (16-0) has been better in early 2022.
Rublev hit 32 winners – 18 from the forehand side – and won 11 of 15 points at net, where he had a decided advantage over Koepfer.
The 24-year-old, seeded No. 7, started slowly in his first Indian Wells match and found himself trailing 2-4. The turning point was a spectacular 28-stroke rally, won with a forehand winner that delivered Rublev his fifth break point. Koepfer’s double-fault put them back on serve and Rublev broke again at 5-all to take control of the set.
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Rublev broke Koepfer in the ninth game of the second set and survived three break points at 5-4, stroking an unreturnable serve to close it out. Koepfer, No. 51 in the ATP Rankings, is 2-3 to begin the year.
Rublev is now 15-2 for the season, coming off titles in Dubai and Marseille. In a span of two terrific weeks, he doubled last year’s total of one, collected in Rotterdam. Next up: The winner of the later all-American match between No. 28 Frances Tiafoe and Brandon Nakashima.
World No. 23 John Isner evened his career head-to-head with Sam Querrey at 5-all with a 7-6(6), 7-6(3) second-round victory. In another early match, Steve Johnson upset No. 22 seed Aslan Karatsev 7-6 (5), 6-4.