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Andrey Rublev v Jacob Whalley

Heswall’s 20-year-old Jacob Whalley more than held his own against the junior number one in the world, Andrey Rublev.

The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) has ranked the 17-year-old from Moscow number one since last June and touted as the best young prospect. He has been tipped by many top professionals to be the future star in tennis.

The 6ft 2 inch right handed player got off to a rusty start and spectators not accustomed to the game of tennis could have been forgiven for thinking the object of the game was to stick the ball in the net.

However, once the Russian got his range the match was one of the best held on the opening day at Liverpool Cricket Club, in Aigburth Road.

Moscow turned professional in 2013 and has been tipped for stardom by Anders Borg, the Tournament Director for Liverpool Hope University International Tennis Tournament.

Anders Borg said: “That was a good game of tennis and Jacob Whalley could have caused a major sensation here today by beating the number one junior in the world. This is the philosophy of the tournament as it gives local players an opportunity to play the best players in the world. The difference between players can be small and the game can often hinge on a couple of big points. I would like to congratulate the pair for putting on such a fantastic performance for the tennis fans in Liverpool.”

After the Russian came off the court he was quick to track down the physiotherapist so he’s fresh for tomorrow’s match against Damir Dzumhur who beat Britain’s number two Aljaz Bedene earlier in the day.

Final score 7-5, 6-4 Rublev beat Whalley.

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13-15 June 2024