Rublev beats Evans, Khachanov faces Djokovic in Dubai

February 22, 2022 GMT
Andrey Rublev of Russia returns the ball to Daniel Evans of Britain during a match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022.(AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
Andrey Rublev of Russia returns the ball to Daniel Evans of Britain during a match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022.(AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
Andrey Rublev of Russia returns the ball to Daniel Evans of Britain during a match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022.(AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
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Andrey Rublev of Russia returns the ball to Daniel Evans of Britain during a match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022.(AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
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Andrey Rublev of Russia returns the ball to Daniel Evans of Britain during a match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022.(AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Second-seeded Andrey Rublev beat Daniel Evans 6-4, 7-5 in the first round of the Dubai Championships on Tuesday, just two days after winning his ninth tour title.

The Russian, who defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime in the final at the Open 13 tournament in Marseille on Sunday, next faces Soonwoo Kwan after the South Korean beat Ilya Ivashka 6-3, 6-2.

The seventh-ranked Rublev also won the doubles title in Marseille with Ukrainian partner Denys Molchanov.

“I arrived at the hotel maybe at 2 a.m. today,” Rublev said in his on-court interview Tuesday. “I slept maybe six or seven hours. I was thinking that probably no chance for me to win, and here I am, I won my first round so I’m really happy. I cannot imagine a better start.”

Karen Khachanov will face top-seeded Novak Djokovic in the second round after the Russian beat Alex de Minaur 6-3, 6-7 (1), 7-5.

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On Monday, Djokovic won his first match of the year when he beat Lorenzo Musetti 6-3, 6-3. The top-ranked Serb couldn’t defend his Australian Open title last month because he was deported from the country for being unvaccinated.

Fourth-seeded Jannik Sinner outlasted Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-3 and will next face Andy Murray.

American qualifier Mackenzie McDonald topped seventh-seeded Aslan Karatsev of Russia 7-5, 6-3 to set up a second-round match against Filip Krajinovic of Serbia.

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