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St. Petersburg Open 2020 final: Andrey Rublev vs Borna Coric preview, head-to-head & prediction

Andrey Rublev
Andrey Rublev
Rudra Biswas
ANALYST
Modified 18 Oct 2020, 03:01 IST
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Match details

Fixture: Andrey Rublev vs Borna Coric

Date: 18 October 2020

Tournament: St. Petersburg Open 2020

Round: Final

Venue: St. Petersburg, Russia

Category: ATP 500

Surface: Indoor hardcourt

Prize money: $1,243,790

Match timing: Not before 4:30 pm Moscow Standard Time, 7 pm IST

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Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony Six


Andrey Rublev vs Borna Coric preview

Andrey Rublev is in the middle of a career-best season
Andrey Rublev is in the middle of a career-best season

Andrey Rublev will be looking to round off a fine week in his native country with a title when he takes on World No. 27 Borna Coric in the final of the St. Petersburg Open on Sunday.

World No. 10 Rublev has enjoyed a breakout season on the ATP Tour. The Russian started the year with two titles before the tour's suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The outbreak threatened to halt Rublev's progress, but the Russian has continued from where he left off in March. He reached the quarterfinals of the US Open and the French Open, and won his maiden ATP 500 title in Hamburg.

He has been made to work hard for his victories in St. Petersburg this week, going the distance against France's Ugo Humbert in the second round and Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the semifinals.

Rublev's newfound confidence and composure shone through in the victory against Shapovalov. The Russian lost the first set of that match and faced a break point early in the second before turning things around.

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Borna Coric, meanwhile, has given a good account of himself too in 2020. At the US Open, the Croat saved six match points in a come-from-behind victory against World No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas before falling to eventual runner-up Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals.

Coric's run at Flushing Meadows left him with little in the tank for Rome, where he suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of Italy's Stefano Travaglia in the second round. The Croat played only one tune-up event prior to the French Open and was clearly unprepared for the claycourt Slam as he crashed out in the opening round to journeyman Norbert Gombos.

Coric then traveled to St. Petersburg, where he has been in scintillating form. The 23-year-old didn't drop a single set en route to the last four, where he defeated the big-serving Milos Raonic in three sets to reach a second consecutive final at St. Petersburg.

Andrey Rublev vs Borna Coric head-to-head

Andrey Rublev has won all three previous meetings against Borna Coric
Andrey Rublev has won all three previous meetings against Borna Coric

Andrey Rublev and Borna Coric have faced off thrice, with the Russian leading the head-to-head 3-0.

The two first locked horns at the NextGen ATP Finals in 2017, with Rublev winning in straight sets. The Russian also registered straight-sets victories over Coric in the quarterfinals of the 2018 Qatar ExxonMobil Open and in the first round of the 2019 Shanghai Rolex Masters.

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Andrey Rublev vs Borna Coric prediction

Borna Coric returns a ball
Borna Coric returns a ball

Andrey Rublev, equipped with a powerful forehand and accurate two-handed backhand, is an excellent baseliner. The Russian likes to take charge of rallies and finish points quickly.

His first serve has improved by leaps and bounds this year, and is now a major weapon in his arsenal. Perhaps the only weakness in the World No. 10's game is his second serve, which lacks bite and could be exploited by Coric.

The Croat has a great return of serve and impeccable footwork, which are his most important attributes. He is solid from the baseline too but lacks the weapons to finish points quickly.

For Coric to stand a chance of beating Rublev, his inside-out forehand will need to fire on all cylinders. And judging from his impressive performance against Raonic, that's not out of the question.

Prediction: Borna Coric to win in three sets.

Published 18 Oct 2020, 01:25 IST
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