Rublev cruises past Hanfmann in Melbourne opener
The World No.8 needed just an hour and 42 minutes to obtain a 6-3 6-3 6-4 victory over his German opponent. Fresh off an ATP Cup victory for Team Russia, the in-form Rublev outhit his opponent, employing powerful groundstrokes from the baseline. Furthermore, the Russian had 17 aces, winning almost 80% of his first serve points.
Hanfmann, ranked No.102; has a career record of 15-17 on the ATP Tour and presented little challenge to the seventh seed. Surprisingly, the German veteran broke his higher-ranked opponent in his opening service game, but it was all Rublev from there onwards. The 23-year old Russian relied on his signature forehand and speed to overwhelm his opponent, securing five breaks en route to his victory.
Considered an underdog at this year's Australian Open, Rublev next faces Brazilian Thiago Monteiro in the second round. The pair have never met on the ATP Tour, although Monteiro did triumph in their 2019 Munich qualifying event encounter.
Click here for real-time scores and results from the Australian Open.