The 23-year-old killed off the hopes of the 20-year-old French qualifier Corentin Moutet to win the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, becoming only the second Russian, after Nikolay Davydenko in 2010, to do so.
Serbian 20-year-old won his quarter-final against the Hungarian qualifier in under an hour on a rain-affected day
Russian Rublev got the better of Kazakhstan’s Kukushkin 6-4, 6-2 in 69 minutes to book his spot in the quarter-finals
Swiss World No 15 Wawrinka will next clash with Slovenian Aljaz Bedene, who beat Alexander Bublik 6-3, 7-5
Making predictions in sport is tricky business even during the best of times, but doing so at the beginning of a season can be a particularly nerve-wracking task and often an exercise in futility.
The stage is set, the participants ready. For about 10 days now, starting tomorrow, Qatar will be the hub of the athletics world where only sweat and toil count.
There will be an air of expectation when Qatar take a big step into the unknown as they take on Paraguay in the Copa America today at Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Maracana Stadium, a venue that has been witness to dreams being made and crushed in equal measure. The match will begin at 10pm Qatar Time.
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