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Doha 2021: Andrey Rublev vs Roberto Bautista Agut preview, head-to-head & prediction | Qatar ExxonMobil Open

Andrey Rublev with the Rotterdam trophy
Andrey Rublev with the Rotterdam trophy
ANALYST
Modified 12 Mar 2021
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Match details

Fixture: Andrey Rublev vs Roberto Bautista Agut

Date: 12 March 2021

Tournament: Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2021

Round: Semifinals

Venue: Doha, Qatar

Category: ATP 250

Surface: Outdoor hardcourt

Prize money: $787,930

Match timing: Approx. 6 pm local time, 8.30 pm IST

Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel

Andrey Rublev vs Roberto Bautista Agut preview

The semifinal round of the 2021 Qatar ExxonMobil Open will see defending champion Andrey Rublev face fifth seed Roberto Bautista Agut on Friday.

The two men have had very different paths leading up to the last four at this year's tournament. While Rublev was given a walkover in his last two matches, his opponent has had to slug it out in some tight contests.

Roberto Bautista Agut
Roberto Bautista Agut

Bautista Agut started his week with wins over Reilly Opelka and Alexander Bublik. But the real test for the Spaniard came in the quarterfinals, where he managed to outlast the top seed Dominic Thiem after two and a half hours of play.

Bautista Agut delivered a strong performance in that match, and was especially impressive on return as he broke the Thiem serve on five occasions.

Against another big server in Rublev, Bautista Agut will be hopeful of posting somewhat similar numbers.

Andrey Rublev vs Roberto Bautista Agut prediction

Andrey Rublev hasn
Andrey Rublev hasn't had to play a match all week.

Andrey Rublev and Roberto Bautista Agut have split their previous four meetings, so their current head-to-head stands at a 2-2 deadlock. That said, it is the Russian who has taken the duo's last two meetings.

Andrey Rublev vs Roberto Bautista Agut prediction

Andrey Rublev entered the Qatar Open on a five-match winning streak, having recently secured the title in Rotterdam. With a bye in the first round and walkovers since, Rublev would be well-rested as he eyes a second consecutive finals appearance.

Even for Roberto Bautista Agut, this matchup is a shot at a second final in 2021. The Spaniard had come up just short in the summit clash of the Open Sud de France, and he seems to have rediscovered his best form in recent weeks.

This seems set to be a battle between Rublev's serving prowess and Bautista Agut's return. The Russian has been winning a lot of points behind his first delivery, but he will likely be tested against a confident-looking Bautista Agut.

If the Spaniard can push Rublev on the backfoot in some of the early exchanges, he could well put some pressure on the serve. He will also be hoping for a couple of tiebreaker sets, as he has been clinical in converting on the big points lately.

But if Rublev picks up from where he left off in Rotterdam, those opportunities are going to be far and few between for the Spaniard. The Russian is a clear favorite on paper, and if he brings out his A-game, he might have too much firepower for a possibly exhausted Bautista Agut.

Prediction: Andrey Rublev to win in three sets.

Published 12 Mar 2021
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