Russian, 20, beats Spaniard 6-4, 6-2 to take fifth place at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship
Andrey Rublev happy to sign off with a win over Pablo Carreno Busta in Abu Dhabi
Andrey Rublev said he was pleased with where his game is at heading into the 2018 season after he secured fifth place at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship on Friday.
The 20-year-old Russian world No 39 had lost in the quarter-finals on Thursday in straight sets to Roberto Bautista Agut, but he bounced back well 24 hours later to defeat Pablo Carreno Busta 6-4, 6-2.
"I think to be honest I was not playing too bad for these two matches," Rublev said of his two matches at the International Tennis Stadium at Zayed Sports City.
- Novak Djokovic pulls out of Mubadala World Tennis Championship
- Watch: Andy Murray in Abu Dhabi sets tongues wagging, but body looks weary
- Lowdown and predictions: Anderson to face Bautista Agut in final after Djokovic pulls out
Rublev, who reached the quarter-finals at the US Open in September, said he had found the warmer UAE weather a challenge having done all of his pre-season training in colder climes.
"I was playing quite well for these conditions, especially as I arrived only one day before the match starts," he said.
"So I don't really have time to adapt to these conditions. Different weather which was so humid as I was doing off-season in the cold weather, so it was completely another feeling."
The first set was a tight encounter as serve initially dominated, but Rublev's fierce groundstrokes were constantly putting Carreno Busta on the backfoot.
A single break of serve was enough to take the first set and he ran away with the second set with a further two breaks.