The Inaugural ATP Adelaide International approaches it's business end on Friday as two of the finest talents in men's tennis battle for a spot in Saturday's showpiece final.
Russia's Andrey Rublev will seek to record back-to-back tour-level finals after capturing the ATP 250 in Doha last week, and he will face Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, who thrashed Australia's Alex Bolt 6-3 6-0 in the last eight.
Rublev had momentarily lost his way after a tumultuous 2018 in which he suffered from injuries. He even confessed that he suffered from depression.
The 22-year-old was the leading light of the Next Gen project in 2017 after capturing his maiden ATP tour-level title in Umag and reaching the quarter-final of US Open. He also finished runner-up at the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan that same year.
Despite failing to match thrills of his 2017 season the following year, Rublev has been on the ascent once again. Currently at a career-high ranking of World No.18, the man from Moscow warmed up for the upcoming Australian Open by winning the tournament in Qatar. He did not let that win affect his performances in Adelaide this week, overcoming both Sam Querrey and Dan Evans along the way.
For Felix Auger-Aliassime, the pursuit for a first ATP title is still on. The young Canadian lost in all three tour-level finals he played in during the 2019 season, but that does not tarnish what was a breakout year for the 19-year-old. He compiled a solid 31-18 and cracked into the top-20 for the first time. Auger-Aliassime also qualified for the Next Gen ATP Finals, but missed the event due at ankle injury he suffered during the last two months of the season.
Rublev 1-0 Auger-Aliassime
The pair have met once on tour, with Russian winning in three sets in the clay courts of Umag in 2018.
Where to watch
The match is scheduled to take place at 19:45 local time (Adelaide), 10:15 BST (14:45 IST).
You can watch the match live on Tennis TV
Both players are tactically efficient baseliners, but both arrived in Adelaide with mixed emotions. Rublev played some of the best tennis of his young career in Doha and deservedly collected his third title. Auger-Aliassime on the other hand, played well below par at the ATP Cup, winning just one singles match. Judging by the form of both players, Rublev should definitely have an edge.
Andrey Rublev to win in straight sets.