Fixture: Roberto Bautista Agut vs Andrey Rublev
Date: 25 September 2020
Tournament: Hamburg European Open 2020
Venue: Hamburg, Germany
Category: ATP Masters 500
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €1,062,520
Match timing: 11.30 am CEST, 3 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony Six
Roberto Bautista Agut vs Andrey Rublev preview
Roberto Bautista Agut produced a clinical performance in his Hamburg opener, winning 6-4, 6-3 against two-time defending champion Nikoloz Basilashvili. He then had a bit of a scare against Dominik Koepfer in the second round, but the Spaniard dug deep to clinch a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win.
Unlike most of his compatriots, clay is not Bautista Agut's strongest surface. Nevertheless, he has made it to two clay finals in his ATP career so far, winning one of them - at Stuttgart in 2014.
Andrey Rublev, the No. 5 seed in Hamburg, also made a strong start to the tournament; he easily disposed of USA's Tennys Sandgren with a 6-3, 6-3 scoreline.
The Russian faced a stiffer test against Tommy Paul in the Round of 16, where he was stretched to three sets. Rublev won comfortably in the end though, finishing the match 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.
The 22-year-old bowed out of last week's Rome Masters in the second round, which had to be disappointing for him. But Rublev, who made the quarterfinals of the US Open last month, will be pleased to have rediscovered his claycourt form just ahead of Roland Garros.
Roberto Bautista Agut vs Andrey Rublev head-to-head
Bautista Agut and Rublev have met thrice on tour before, with the Spaniard leading the head-to-head 2-1.
They first faced off in the Round of 16 at the Valencia Open in 2015, where Bautista Agut won 6-2, 6-3. The duo then met in the 2018 Shanghai Masters, where the World No. 11 prevailed in straight sets once again.
Rublev, however, pulled one back in their latest face-off. He went one set down in his encounter against Bautista Agut at the Davis Cup last year, but made a strong comeback to win 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(0).
All matches between the pair have been on hardcourts so far; this will be their first clay fixture against each other.
Roberto Bautista Agut vs Andrey Rublev prediction
Roberto Bautista Agut's excellent movement and strong all-round game will be the keys for him against Andrey Rublev.
The Russian on his part is an excellent baseliner who loves to take the game to the opposition. Both players have powerful and accurate forehands, and the result could depend on who deploys it better.
This promises to be a high-octane clash between the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds at the tournament, and is likely to go all the way.
Prediction: Roberto Bautista Agut to win in three sets.Published 24 Sep 2020, 23:54 IST