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18 Jan, 2020 11:11

Red-hot Rublev continues flying start to season with 2nd title – after Russian star is tipped by Federer as one to watch in 2020

Red-hot Rublev continues flying start to season with 2nd title – after Russian star is tipped by Federer as one to watch in 2020

Russian ace Andrey Rublev continued his blistering start to 2020 by winning the Adelaide International, making him the first man in 16 years to claim back-to-back titles in the opening two weeks of the tennis season.

Rublev, 22, crushed South Africa's Lloyd Harris 6-3 6-0 in just 56 minutes in the Adelaide final on Saturday, handing him a second title in two weeks after the Russian world number 18 also won the Qatar Open last week. 

Rublev is unbeaten in his last 12 matches, including an unblemished 8-0 start to 2020 as he gains serious momentum heading into the season-opening Grand Slam in Melbourne next week, where he is seeded 17th. 

Rublev's win at the inauguaral tournament in Adelaide makes him the first man to win two titles within a fortnight at the start of the season since Slovakia's Dominik Hrbaty back in 2004. 

Rublev has largely picked up where he left off last season, when he produced some blistering displays in Russia's run to the semifinals at the Davis Cup at the end of November.

Indeed, the second part of 2019 saw the reemergence of a man plagued by injury for large spells of his fledgling career, even sending him as low as 115 in the world rankings.

That began to change with an eye-catching win over Roger Federer at the Cincinnati Masters back in August, before Rublev tasted title success on home soil by winning the Kremlin Cup in Moscow in October. 

‘Something I’ll never forget’: Russian youngster Andrey Rublev on emotional Kremlin Cup win (VIDEO)

His victory over Federer in the round of 16 in Cincinnati impressed the Swiss legend so much that he has tipped Rublev as one to watch from among the emerging young crop in 2020.

Also on rt.com ‘He’s going to be something special’: Roger Federer tips Russian youngster Andrey Rublev as the one to watch in 2020

Considering Rublev's superb start to the season, Federer's prediction is starting to look prescient as we head into next week's Australian Open, where Rublev opens his campaign against unseeded Australian Christopher O'Connell.