Fixture: Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Andrey Rublev
Date: 7 October 2020
Tournament: Roland Garros 2020
Venue: Paris, France
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: Approx. €38,000,000
Match timing: Approx. 4 pm CEST, 7.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - NBC Sports / Tennis Channel | India - Star Sports Select / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Andrey Rublev preview
Stefanos Tsitsipas will be looking to reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam for the second time in his career but will face some tough resistance from fellow Next-Gen star Andrey Rublev at Roland Garros on Wednesday..
Having finished runner-up at the Hamburg Open a couple of weeks ago, the Greek started his campaign in Paris on a worrying note. Tsitsipas just managed to scrape his way past Spain's Jaume Munar in his first-round match, after coming back from two-sets-to-love down.
But the World No. 6 struck a rich vein of form in the subsequent rounds. He beat Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas and Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene without any trouble, to make it to the second week of the French Open for the second year running.
In his fourth-round match against 18th seed Grigor Dimitrov, Tsitsipas was again in the zone as he faced only three break points all match. The Greek also won won 71 per cent of the points on both his first and second serve, as he took down the Bulgarian in straight sets to set up a Hamburg rematch with World No. 12 Andrey Rublev.
Just like his quarterfinal opponent, Rublev made his life difficult in his opening match as he trailed the big-serving Sam Querrey by two-sets-to-love. Querrey even served for the match in the third set, but the Russian dug deep to break his opponent with some inspired hitting before clinching the win in five sets.
Rublev again faced a stern test in his second-round match against Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, but eventually came through in four sets.
After an easier outing against former World No. 5 Kevin Anderson in the third round, Rublev was made to battle for nearly four hours against World No. 63 Marton Fucsovics. The 22-year-old withstood some heavy hitting from the Hungarian before dousing his challenge in four tight sets.
Rublev is now on a nine-match winning streak since the US Open.
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Andrey Rublev head-to-head
The quarterfinal matchup in Paris is the fourth meeting between the two youngsters, and Andrey Rublev currently leads the head-to-head 2-1 over Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The pair met in the championship match at Hamburg last week, where Rublev prevailed in three sets. They had also faced off at the US Open a year ago, where the unseeded Russian upset Tsitsipas in four sets.
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Andrey Rublev prediction
Stefanos Tsitsipas has played some entertaining tennis over the last week, showing impeccable footwork and aggressive ball-striking to win several long rallies in the heavy conditions. The Greek has also been solid on serve; in his fourth-round showdown with Dimitrov, Tsitsipas faced break points in only one game throughout the match.
Andrey Rublev has not enjoyed such smooth sailing during his week in Paris, but he has shown some teeth in his game nonetheless.
The Russian's workman-like forehand has not been easy for the opponents to break down, which has given him the edge in the baseline rallies. There's something to be said about the 22-year-old's improved shot tolerance as well, an attribute that will likely come in handy against Tsitsipas.
If their last encounter in Hamburg is anything to go by, Tsitsipas' serve will play a key role in the upcoming match. Rublev has a strong return, but he does have a tendency to press on it occasionally and give away free points.
The Russian has also shown frustration in the past when he has been unable to hit through his opponents. And Tsitsipas is likely to be that kind of opponent on Wednesday.
Prediction: Stefanos Tsitsipas to win in four sets.Published 06 Oct 2020, 03:53 IST