Fixture: Andrey Rublev vs Kevin Anderson
Date: 3 October 2020
Tournament: Roland Garros 2020
Round: Third round (Round of 32)
Venue: Paris, France
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: Approx. €38,000,000
Match timing: 11 am CEST, 2.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - NBC Sports / Tennis Channel | India - Star Sports Select / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Andrey Rublev vs Kevin Anderson preview
11th seed Andrey Rublev will look to strengthen his bid for a career-best result at Roland Garros when he faces Kevin Anderson in the third round on Saturday.
Rublev comes into the match after a rollercoaster first-round win against Sam Querrey, where he overturned a two-set deficit to prevail 6-7, 6-7, 7-5, 6-4, 6-3. The Russian made hard work of his second round encounter as well, before ultimately claiming victory over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in four sets.
After a decent quarterfinal showing at the US Open, the Russian came to Paris very high on confidence. He won his first tournament on clay and first ATP 500 level title at the Hamburg European Open last week.
The 22-year-old beat a packed lineup of players in Hamburg, including the likes of Roberto Bautista Agut and Casper Ruud, before prevailing against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.
Meanwhile South Africa's Kevin Anderson, a two-time Grand Slam finalist, has struggled to maintain his form after a big injury last year. In fact, he has entered Roland Garros via a protected ranking.
But despite receiving a tricky draw at the tournament, Anderson has prevailed in a couple of difficult matches. He beat Laslo Djere in the first round, and then fought off a comeback attempt by Dusan Lajoic in the second to ultimately win 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3.
Andrey Rublev vs Kevin Anderson head-to-head
The meeting in Paris will be the second encounter between the two players, and Kevin Anderson currently leads the head-to-head 1-0 over Andrey Rublev. Their only previous meeting came way back in 2015, in the first round of the US Open, which Anderson won 7-6, 6-7, 7-5, 6-3.
Andrey Rublev vs Kevin Anderson prediction
Given his form in 2020 and his superior ranking, Andrey Rublev is the favorite coming into this match. However, Kevin Anderson has plenty of experience on the big stage, and the tricky weather conditions in Paris have suited his playing style so far.
Rublev may have started the tournament in shaky form, but the 22-year-old will have gained some confidence after a convincing win in the second. The Russian is unlikely to alter his strategy much against Anderson on Saturday.
Anderson can make this contest a close one by catching the ball early and taking control of the rallies with his massive groundstrokes. But the South African's lack of match sharpness and fitness concerns could make getting over the finish line a very difficult proposition.
Prediction: Andrey Rublev to win in four sets.Published 02 Oct 2020, 17:43 IST