Tomas Machac Becomes The Third Czech Champion, After Defeating Andrey Rublev

It appears that players from the Czech Republic have figured out the formula for defeating Andrey Rublev.

After losing a shortened Sunshine Double to the top two Czech players on the ATP Tour, Rublev will be aiming to relive the magic of his run in the Monte Carlo title defense in April.

After losing to Tomas Machac, 6-4, 6-4, in the Miami Open second round on Friday, the world No. 6 has now lost to the top three-ranked players from the Czech Republic in the last 30 days.

Machac revealed that he received inside assistance from a countryman who had defeated Rublev before.

“I asked Jakub Mensik. He gave me some information, so it’s great that we have a good relationship,” Machac later told ATP Media. “It helps for sure that we can beat these kind of players and help ourselves to get advice on everything.”

Machac, who has made significant progress since the beginning of the season, entered the ATP Masters 1000 tournament at No. 60, which is a career high. The Czech No. 2 defeated Stan Wawrinka in his Indian Wells debut, defeated Andy Murray and Lorenzo Musetti in Marseille, and defeated Frances Tiafoe, who was ranked No. 17 at the time, in the second round of the Australian Open.

Despite the fact that he had never beaten a player ranked in the top ten going into the match, Machac’s confidence was evident against Rublev on a windy and wet day. With 16 against 9 from his opponent, the 23-year-old scored more points off the ground and won more baseline possession than Rublev. After 65 minutes, Machac advanced by holding in every one of his service games, making the most of a solitary break in each set.

Rublev’s setback to Machac came after recent defeats by rising youth Mensik in the Doha quarterfinals on February 22 and Czech No. 1 Jiri Lehecka in the BNP Paribas Open third round on March 10. Between those withdrawals, Rublev’s actions against a line judge led to a contentious default in the third set of his Dubai semifinal against Alexander Bublik. However, the Russian’s appeal of the ruling resulted in the ATP restoring his ranking points and prize money.

Machac’s year total increased to 8-5.

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