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Rublev eases past Evans to reach last eight

Russia's Andrey Rublev serves to Great Britain's Daniel Evans during the 2022 ATP Tour Madrid Open. -- AFP
Russia's Andrey Rublev serves to Great Britain's Daniel Evans during the 2022 ATP Tour Madrid Open. -- AFP

MADRID: Sixth seed Andrey Rublev reached the seventh Masters 1000 quarterfinal of his career with a 7-6(9/7), 7-5 result against Dan Evans of Great Britain in Madrid on Thursday.

It was the second blow of the day for the British as Andy Murray had earlier pulled out of his meeting with Novak Djokovic because of illness.

Rublev bounced back from 1-3 down in the opening set, and saved a set point in the tie-break before securing a lead in one hour and 15 minutes.

In the second set, Rublev saw an early service break lead wiped by Evans before he made a late move in the 11th game to wrap up a hard-fought victory, his third in five meetings with the Brit.

The Russian finished the match with 46 winners, 34 of which came off the forehand wing.

Rublev, who was also tested in his opener against Jack Draper, admits it has been a "stressful" tournament for him so far, despite arriving to the Spanish capital fresh from a title run in Belgrade.

"I'm going on court thinking for sure today I'm going to do everything and I will be calm and then I'm doing really stupid and easy mistakes that make no sense," said Rublev

"Then I manage somehow to calm down and at the end starts these roller coasters."

Rublev will face either Stefanos Tsitsipas or Grigor Dimitrov in the next round.

Earlier in the day, former world number one Murray was forced to pull out of his last-16 match against Djokovic, citing food poisoning.

"Unfortunately Andy Murray is ill and is not in a position to play," the Madrid Open organisers said.

It would have been the 37th meeting between Murray and current world number one Djokovic, but the first since they played each other in the Doha final in January 2017.

Djokovic, a three-time champion in Madrid, now moves directly into a quarterfinal against either Polish number 12 seed Hubert Hurkacz or Serbian qualifier Dusan Lajovic. -- AFP

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