Date: 31 October 2020
Tournament: Erste Bank Open 2020
Venue: Vienna, Austria
Category: ATP 500
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: €1,409,510
Match timing: 2 pm local time, 6.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony ESPN
Andrey Rublev vs Kevin Anderson preview
Andrey Rublev will be looking to continue his hot streak when he takes on a resurgent Kevin Anderson for a place in the final of the Vienna Open on Saturday.
Rublev has enjoyed a breakout season on the ATP tour. The Russian started 2020 with two titles and a run to the Australian Open fourth round, before the tour was suspended due to the pandemic. But since the resumption of tennis, the Russian has showcased an even better version of himself.
Armed with a bigger serve and steadier groundstrokes than before, Rublev has reached two Majors quarterfinals and won two ATP 500 titles over the last couple of months. He is now seeking his fifth title of 2020 in Vienna.
After swatting aside Slovakia's Norbert Gombos in his opener, the World No. 8 was expected to face tough competition against rising star Jannik Sinner in the Round of 16. However, Sinner was forced to retire in the opening set due to a foot injury.
Rublev would then meet defending champion Dominic Thiem in the last eight, where he completely dominated the Austrian. Rublev struck 30 winners past Thiem, who was admittedly suffering from a foot injury in the second set.
If Rublev intends to extend his winning streak at ATP 500 level to 14 matches, he will have to beat 2018 champion Kevin Anderson in the semifinals.
The former World No. 5 has had a rather demoralizing time on tour over the last year or so. The big-serving South African, who was forced to end his 2019 season early after an injury at Wimbledon, started 2020 by exiting early at the Australian Open and the New York 250.
After tennis resumed post the COVID-19 enforced lockdown, the World No. 111 lost four of his first five matches. However, Anderson exceeded expectations at Roland Garros by beating Serbia's Dusan Lajovic in the second round.
Anderson was then beaten comprehensively by Rublev in the third round, but he is a far more dangerous player to face on the quick indoor hardcourts of Vienna.
Andrey Rublev vs Kevin Anderson head-to-head
Andrey Rublev and Kevin Anderson are tied 1-1 in their head-to-head. The two faced each other recently at the French Open, with Rublev dropping just eight games in a lopsided contest.
Andrey Rublev vs Kevin Anderson prediction
Andrey Rublev has always been an excellent baseliner, but the Russian has been even more impressive on his serve than his groundstrokes in Vienna. Rublev has blasted 22 aces past his opponents this week, and has also saved all the break points he has faced.
Kevin Anderson has one of the biggest serves on the tour right now, and he can sometimes be over-reliant on that shot. However, the South African showed plenty of consistency on his groundstrokes during his win over Daniil Medvedev in the quarterfinals.
Hitting his forehand with bite after a long time, Anderson seems to be on his way back in Vienna. His match toughness will be tested greatly by Rublev's aggressive game though, especially if the Russian is playing anywhere close to the level he displayed against Thiem.
Prediction: Andrey Rublev to win in straight sets.Published 31 Oct 2020, 01:24 IST