Fixture: Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Alexander Bublik
Date: 23 September 2020
Tournament: Hamburg European Open 2020
Round: Round of 16 (Second round)
Venue: Hamburg, Germany
Category: ATP Masters 500
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €1,062,520
Match timing: Approx. 3.30 pm CEST, 7.00 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony Six
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Alexander Bublik preview
Felix Auger-Aliassime was in excellent touch in the Hamburg first round against Lorenzo Sonego, where he won 6-2, 7-6(2). The Canadian youngster had also impressed everyone at the US Open last month, where he made it to the Round of 16 with his explosive and attractive shot-making.
Auger-Aliassime was beaten by eventual champion Dominic Thiem, but not before he gave a superb account of himself in the early rounds.
That said, the Canadian didn't start the clay season too well. He lost to Serbia's Filip Krajinovic in his opening game at the Italian Open last week.
Alexander Bublik, meanwhile, has had an excellent tournament in Hamburg so far. The 23-year-old made it through both games of the qualifiers in straight sets, before running past Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the first round of the main draw.
Bublik has had a mixed year so far overall though. He reached a career-high ranking of No. 47 when he made it to the semifinals of the Open 13 in February, but has not crossed the second round of any ATP event since.
Needless to say, this is a chance for Bublik to correct that record.
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Alexander Bublik head-to-head
Felix Auger-Aliassime and Alexander Bublik have met just once on tour before, with Auger-Aliassime leading the head-to-head 1-0.
Their match took place in the Round of 64 at the Shanghai Masters last year. Bublik had to retire midway through, and the Canadian progressed to the next round with a 7-6(5), 4-0 scoreline.
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Alexander Bublik prediction
Felix Auger-Aliassime boasts of an excellent all-round game, including a powerful serve. The youngster's wristy forehand is one of his biggest strengths, with which he can control the pace of the rallies against anyone.
Auger-Aliassime also loves playing on clay, having practiced on the red dirt of Montreal in his early years.
On the other hand, Alexander Bublik's biggest strength is his unpredictability and unique style of play. He has a strong and accurate serve, but often goes for gigantic second serves that end up being double faults. Bublik's baseline play is also filled with all kinds of variations; he can hit the cover off the ball with his groundstrokes, and also conjure drop shots out of nowhere.
This promises to be an exciting matchup between two up-and-coming players with contrasting playing styles. But Auger-Aliassime's consistency might just end up giving him the edge.
Prediction: Felix Auger-Aliassime to win in three sets.Published 23 Sep 2020, 00:39 IST