Two of the game’s top young players will go head to head on Tuesday in what should be one of the matches of the round in the men’s side. Andrey Rublev faces eighth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas for a spot in round two in the quarter of the draw headed by Dominic Thiem. The winner of this match would definitely fancy their chances of going far although Tsitsipas has to remain the favourite for now.
Tsitsipas comes into the tournament with a three match losing streak, dating back to the Washington semi-final. He lost a final set tiebreak to Nick Kyrgios there, with the Aussie’s dramatics adding to the match there. His losses in Canada and Cincinnati were decidedly less impressive, falling in three to Hubert Hurkacz and Jan Lennard Struff respectively. He was the talk of the tour earlier in the year but it will now be interesting to see how he bounces back having faced some struggles in the past few months.
Rublev’s technique is there for all to see but his consistency and temperament remain in question, even if they have improved recently. He beat Stanislas Wawrinka and Roger Federer back to back in Cincinnati, picking up two of the most impressive wins of his career in the process. “He was super clean. Defence, offence, serving well. Didn’t give me anything. He was everywhere. So it was tough for me, but excellent match by him. I was impressed,” Federer said on the Russian after their match. He followed that up with a Winston Salem quarter final, helping him move back inside the top 45.
Rublev won the only encounter between the two but it’s hard to take a great deal from their encounter when both players were outside the top 100 back at the start of 2017. The hope will be that the tennis he displayed in the Federer victory becomes more and more common and if so, he should have a good chance against an opponent that is struggling for confidence at this moment in time.
Prediction – Andrey Rublev in five sets