Facing a tough opponent in tricky conditions, Andrey Rublev got the job done on Saturday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

The World No. 6 prevailed 6-3, 6-4 against Alex Molcan in a second-round match featuring two rain interruptions at the ATP Masters 1000 event. Using his heavy groundstrokes to good effect on the damp clay, Rublev clinched a break of his opponent’s serve in each set to seal an 80-minute win on Court Pietrangeli.

“I’m happy that I was able to finish just before the rain,” said Rublev, speaking as the bad weather returned soon after match point. “I can rest now, and I can rest tomorrow, and I don’t need to stress waiting until the afternoon, so it’s very lucky when you are able to finish before the rain and you know that most of the players still didn’t play.”

Rublev also defeated Molcan in straight sets in the Banja Luka semi-finals three weeks ago, and the 25-year-old delivered a commanding display to secure a repeat result in the Italian capital. The only real nervous moments for Rublev came on his serve at 0-1, 15/40 in the second set, but he found a series of big deliveries to save both break points and hold.

Forehand still firing 🔥🌧️@AndreyRublev97 continues to impress, coming through 6-3 6-4 in @InteBNLdItalia 🎾#ShotQuality is calculated in real-time by analysing each shot’s speed, spin, depth, and width.#TennisInsights | @atptour | @InteBNLdItalia pic.twitter.com/g9DprJhtAQ

— Tennis Insights (@tennis_insights) May 13, 2023

“It was tough conditions, but I think I played well,” said Rublev, who struck 17 winners and made just three unforced errors in the match. “I really like slower courts, especially when it’s weather like this, cold and rainy. I like it even more because I have more time.”

Rublev is now 12-3 in ATP Masters 1000 events for the year, a tally which includes his first title at that level at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. His next challenge at the Foro Italico is a third-round clash against 27th seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina or Guido Pella.