Fixture: Tommy Paul vs Alexander Bublik
Date: 4 March 2021
Tournament: ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament 2021
Round: Second round (Round of 16)
Venue: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Category: ATP 500
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: €980,580
Match timing: Not before 12.30 pm local time, 5 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel
Tommy Paul vs Alexander Bublik preview
Tommy Paul opened his 2021 Rotterdam Open campaign with a resounding straight-sets win over Lorenzo Sonego on Wednesday.
Paul has had a slow start to the new season, and is yet to win consecutive matches. He now faces an uphill task in the next round, as he takes on the in-form Alexander Bublik.
Bublik took out the third seed Alexander Zverev in a similarly dominant straight-sets win.
The Kazakh has been playing some good tennis in recent months, and had entered this tournament fresh off finals appearances in Antalya and Singapore. To add to that, Bublik now has two top 10 wins to his name in 2021.
Besides Zverev, the 23-year-old had also scored a straight-sets win over Matteo Berrettini en route to the final in Antalya.
Bublik has a big game that's well-suited to hardcourts. He also stands to benefit from the indoor conditions in Rotterdam, which will aid his already powerful serve and groundstrokes.
Tommy Paul vs Alexander Bublik head-to-head
Tommy Paul leads Alexander Bublik in the head-to-head with a 2-1 margin, but all of their three matches have been below the ATP tour level. The American won the duo's only meeting on hardcourts, at a Challenger tournament in Australia.
Tommy Paul vs Alexander Bublik prediction
This is a fairly well-balanced matchup as both men have a similarly well-rounded game. There's also very little separating them in terms of the rankings.
That said, Alexander Bublik does seem to have found his stride at the start of the new season. And having already beaten a title contender here in Rotterdam, the Kazakh will be looking to stage another big run.
For Tommy Paul, the key will be to stay in touching distance on the scoreboard. Bublik has looked somewhat vulnerable in tight situations, and the American will have to try his best to keep the pressure on his opponent.
If Paul can force a tiebreaker set or two, he stands a decent chance of pulling off a win. Otherwise, Bublik is likely to continue his confident run into the next round.
Prediction: Alexander Bublik to win in three sets.