Stefanos Tsitsipas has kept his chances of qualifying for the semi-finals of the ATP Finals alive but only just.
The defending champion was in cruise control but a slip in concentration welcomed back Rublev to the match and it got very tense in the latter stages.
Early on in the match it was all about the defending champion, he looked in the mood and was very productive and proactive with his ground strokes. It began like it ended against Nadal, a bit messy for the Russian who was just powering his way through games without making an impression.
In the second set there was definitely a bit more composure from Rublev and it led to some extended rallies. It was a good opportunity to see more of his backhand rather than the quick need to want to explode off the forehand it forced Stefanos into an incredibly loose game at 4-5 and he lost the set to Rublev.
I was a little bit worried for the Greek going into a third set, it reminded me of that loose few points in the first set against Thiem on Sunday that just slipped away from him. It was good to see Tsitsipas put Rublev under pressure in what turned into a marathon hold of serve for the 23 year old in just under ten minutes but held for a 2-1 lead.
Tsitsipas was playing catch-up in the set on serve and did go through his service games extremely well to keep up with Andrey’s pace.
The nerves did come in, at 5-6 he found himself 0-30 down and it began to look like his time in London was coming to an end but forced a tie-break.
Tsitsipas took control and a 5-2 lead but Andrey levelled up for 5-5. We then witnessed what was probably the point of the match with a phenomenal 25 shot rally won by Rublev to set up match point.
A chance to keep his London dream alive and he double faulted and Tsitsipas went onto claim the win seconds later following a forehand into the net from Rublev.
The defending champion just about survived and on Thursday will have a shootout with Nadal for a place in the semi-finals!