Fixture: (2) Andrey Rublev vs (3) Felix Auger-Aliassime
Date: 12 February 2022
Tournament: ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament 2022
Venue: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Category: ATP 500
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: €1,208,315
Match timing: Not before 7.30 pm local time, 6.30 pm GMT, 12 am IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Andrey Rublev vs Felix Auger-Aliassime preview
Defending champion and second seed Andrey Rublev will face third seed Felix Auger-Aliassime on Saturday for a place in the final of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.
Rublev has had an underwhelming start to the year so far. The 24-year-old missed Russia's defence of the ATP Cup after he he returned a positive COVID test. The following week, he bowed out against Marin Cilic in the third round of the Australian Open.
But Rublev has looked a lot more assured during his title defence in Rotterdam so far. The Russian has gotten past Henri Laaksonen, Kwon Soon-woo and Marton Fucsovics in straight sets to reach the last four.
Unlike his opponent, Felix Auger-Aliassime has had a breakthrough start to 2022. The 21-year-old triumphed with Canada at the ATP Cup, defeating the likes of Alexander Zverev and Cameron Norrie along the way.
He then reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, where he was defeated by Daniil Medvedev after saving a match point. The Canadian has, however, bounced back well from that disappointment.
Andrey Rublev vs Felix Auger-Aliassime head-to-head
The semifinal in Rotterdam will be the third encounter between the two players, and Andrey Rublev currently leads the head-to-head 2-0 over Felix Auger-Aliassime.
The pair faced each other on clay at Umag in 2018, and on hardcourt at Adelaide in 2020, with Rublev prevailing in three sets each time.
Andrey Rublev vs Felix Auger-Aliassime prediction
Despite being the defending champion, the higher-ranked player and the leader of the head-to-head, Andrey Rublev is not the overwehlming favorite for this encounter. Felix Auger-Aliassime has looked like a transformed player over the last few months, and he is likely to make things very difficult for his opponent.
Rublev's power-packed game and consistency from the baseline make him a huge threat indoors. His record in Rotterdam so far - and also at the fall events in the calendar - shows his aptitude for the surface.
But Auger-Aliassime has the edge in terms of momentum. His impressive recent performances have even helped him crack the top 10 of the world rankings.
The Canadian's serve-and-forehand combination is a huge strength, and he is hitting both those shots with a lot of confidence right now. All things considered, Auger-Aliassime seems to have the slight edge going into the semifinal on Saturday.
Prediction: Felix Auger-Aliassime to win in three sets.