Date: 19 March 2021
Tournament: Dubai Tennis Championships 2021
Venue: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Category: ATP 500
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $1,897,805
Match timing: Not before 7 pm local time, 8.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel
Andrey Rublev vs Aslan Karatsev preview
Andrey Rublev extended his flawless run at ATP 500 events by notching up an incredible 23rd straight win in the tournament category on Thursday. The Russian did well to overcome a spirited effort from Marton Fucsovics, prevailing 7-5, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the 2021 Dubai Tennis Championships.
Rublev is now set to take on compatriot Aslan Karatsev for a spot in the summit clash.
Karatsev is in the midst of a career breakthrough of sorts. The 27-year-old was a big winner Down Under, reaching the semifinals at the Australian Open despite having no prior experience of playing in a Grand Slam main draw.
He has carried that form into the Middle East swing, with a few more big wins (and a near-upset over Dominic Thiem) to show for.
The Russian's attacking game is well suited to hardcourts, as has been evident in his wins over the likes of Lorenzo Sonego and Jannik Sinner. If he can continue to sustain the same level of tennis, Karatsev might give Rublev a few things to think about.
Andrey Rublev vs Aslan Karatsev head-to-head
This is set to be the first career meeting between Andrey Rublev and Aslan Karatsev, so their current head-to-head stands at a 0-0 deadlock.
Andrey Rublev vs Aslan Karatsev prediction
Andrey Rublev will enter this contest looking to reach his fifth straight ATP 500 final. Needless to say, he is a firm favorite to emerge victorious.
But Aslan Karatsev has defied expectations to reach this stage of the event, and will be fancying his chances of pulling off another big win. He definitely has the game to take his opponent on in the rallies, but will need a few other things to go his way too.
As Davis Cup teammates and former doubles partners, the two men know each other's game really well - and that's likely to benefit Rublev. The 23-year-old will enter this match knowing what to expect from the other end of the court, unlike some of his fellow seeds who fell victim to Karatsev's relatively new game.
With the surprise element being a non-factor in this particular matchup, Karatsev might find himself a little out of his depth.
Prediction: Andrey Rublev to win in three sets.