By: Ben Raby
No.16 seed Andrey Rublev advanced to the semifinals of the Citi Open Saturday, defeating Arlington Virginia’s Denis Kudla 6-1, 6-4 in their quarterfinal match.
Rublev, the top-ranked Russian, will face Australian Alex de Minaur this evening (not before 7 p.m.) with a berth in the championship match at stake.
The other men’s semifinal pits No.1 seed Alexander Zverev against No.10 Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The 21-year-old Zverev is the elder statesman of the group with Rublev, 20, and Tsitsipas and de Minaur both 19. According to the ATP World Tour, the 2018 Citi Open is the first Tour level tournament in which all four semifinalists are 21-and-under since 1995.
Rublev held serve throughout his match broke Kudla twice in the opening set and once more in the second to advance to his second semifinal of the year.
Despite the defeat in the quarterfinals, Kudla, 25, showed himself well in his hometown tournament. After falling in the first-round in each of his four prior appearances at the Citi Open, Kudla beat Lukas Lacko, No.12 seed Karen Khachanov and No.6 Lucas Pouille en route to the quarterfinals.
Kudla was still scheduled to team with longtime friend Frances Tiafoe (Hyattsville, Maryland) in men’s doubles Saturday. The local duo had a quarterfinal match against Ivan Dodig and Ben McLachlan scheduled for Grandstand 2 (not before 4 p.m.).
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