Andrey Rublev avoided an upset when he outlasted Thiago Seyboth Wild in five sets. The fifth seed was cruising with a two-set lead before he let his focus slip and dropped the next two sets.
He blew four match points at 6-5 in the decider and was taken to a final set tiebreak, railing 1-4 before winning it 10-6.
Rublev later admitted that he started to panic after letting Seyboth Wild into the match and eventually accepted that he was going to lose – something that helped him secure the victory.
“I started to get a bit more emotional because I started to feel it’s now or never or I go home. I started to be more emotional. I started to panic a bit more,” he explained.
“Then on the tiebreak I was thinking, Okay, after all these chances, he deserve to win. Plus, he was 4-1 up. He deserves to win. Nothing. I don’t know what else to do because now he’s completely play free. He is enjoying. And me opposite. I start to become completely tight, completely blocked.
“Then I was, like, Okay, he deserves to win. At least just finish the match without saying anything, and that’s it. And somehow those words a bit give me relief. As soon as I had chance, because I was lucky that he didn’t make a first serve, and he served a couple of times second. I returned really well and really clean, and I was able to come back. At the end of the tiebreak I think I played well.”