Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev competing in a Match Tie-break has only produced one outcome these past two weeks on the European clay.
So it was again on Thursday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, where the unseeded duo took down two-time champions Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 4-6, 7-5, 10/7 in their first-round match at the ATP Masters 1000 in Rome.
Khachanov and Rublev clinched four of their five matches in Match Tie-breaks en route to their maiden Masters 1000 title last week at the Mutua Madrid Open, and the pair excelled when facing the now-familiar situation again against Cabal and Farah. The singles stars never fell behind in the decider as they wrapped a one-hour, 42-minute triumph at the Foro Italico.
Now 8-3 as a team for the 2023 season, long-time friends Khachanov and Rublev will take on fourth seeds Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer or Jamie Murray and Michael Venus in the second round as they chase back-to-back Masters 1000 crowns.