Fixture: Andrey Rublev vs Casper Ruud
Date: 26 September 2020
Tournament: Hamburg European Open 2020
Venue: Hamburg, Germany
Category: ATP Masters 500
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €1,062,520
Match timing: 1.30 pm CEST, 5 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony Six
Andrey Rublev vs Casper Ruud preview
Fifth seed Andrey Rublev brought his 'A' game to the table in the quarterfinal match against fourth seed Roberto Bautista Agut on Friday, registering an impressive 6-2, 7-5 win. He will now take on Casper Ruud of Norway for a place in the final.
Rublev had also performed very well against Tennys Sandgren earlier in the week, although he did have to dig deep to beat Tommy Paul in the pre-quarterfinals. The Russian has been on the money for most of 2020, with a win-loss record of 23-6.
Rublev had made it to the US Open quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows last month, but couldn't get past his compatriot Daniil Medvedev. Before the COVID-19 break the 22-year-old had won the Adelaide International, and during the suspension he had triumphed at the 'Thiem's 7' event in Kitzbuhel.
Rublev's next opponent in Hamburg, the unseeded Norwegian Casper Ruud, has performed exceptionally well in the claycourt season so far. He upset Karen Khachanov and Matteo Berrettini on his way to the Italian Open semifinals last week, where he gave World No. 1 Novak Djokovic all he could handle.
At the ongoing Hamburg Open, Ruud has put up strong showings against Benoit Paire, sixth seed Fabio Fognini and Ugo Humbert. The 2020 Argentina Open winner will be keen to make it to the final in Germany and secure his second title of the season.
It goes without saying though that Ruud will have to play his absolute best tennis to down the in-form Rublev.
Andrey Rublev vs Casper Ruud head-to-head
Andrey Rublev leads Casper Ruud by a margin of 1-0 in the head-to-head rivalry.
Interestingly, the two players had met in the Hamburg Open pre-quarterfinals last year, where Rublev lost the first set. However, Ruud could not seal a quarterfinal berth as his Russian rival prevailed 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Andrey Rublev vs Casper Ruud prediction
Although Casper Ruud has a ton of momentum by his side, he will have a hard time overcoming the challenge of Andrey Rublev on Saturday. The Russian looked in magnificent touch against Bautista Agut; his forehand and ground game overall were absolutely on fire as he hammered 30 winners to just 18 unforced errors.
Ruud plays a heavy topspin-oriented game from behind the baseline, which is particularly suited to slow surfaces. The Norwegian has a powerful forehand too, but that wing might be put under pressure by Rublev's even pacier version of the shot.
The match might come down to who takes more risks and uses his strengths better, and right now Rublev is looking slightly ahead in both those aspects.
Prediction: Andrey Rublev to win in three sets.Published 25 Sep 2020, 23:41 IST