Andrey Rublev looks to continue his excellent start to the season when he faces Alexander Bublik for a place in the Rotterdam quarter-finals on Thursday.
Andrey Rublev ?? vs Alexander Bublik ?? Match Info
Date: Thursday February 13
Tournament: ATP Rotterdam, R2
Court: Centre Court
Time: 12.30pm local time (11.30am GMT)
Andrey Rublev vs Alexander Bublik Head-to-Head
Rublev leads 2-0
2019 | Vienna R32 | Rublev 6-1 6-7(3) 7-6(6)
2019 | Moscow R32 | Rublev 6-1 3-6 6-4
Andrey Rublev vs Alexander Bublik Match Preview
What a difference a year makes. This time last year, Rublev lost in qualifying in Rotterdam and was ranked No. 99 in the world. Fast forward 12 months, and the Russian is entrenched in the top 15 and one of the heavy favourites for the ATP 500 title after his blistering start to 2020.
Following on from his tremendous performances at the end of last season at the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid, Rublev compiled an incredible 15-match winning streak, emerging victorious in his first 11 matches of 2020 as he picked up titles in Doha and Adelaide and made the fourth round of the Australian Open, where he eventually ran out of gas against Alexander Zverev.
After taking a well-deserved break, Rublev is back in action this week in Rotterdam, where he will be aiming to make the quarter-finals for the second time after doing so in 2018. The 22-year-old picked up from where he left off in January in his opening round, easing past Nikoloz Basilashvili by a 6-2 6-3 scoreline.
Injuries caused Rublev to almost fall out of the top 100 last season, but after regaining full fitness he’s been on fire, earning a career-high 38 wins last season, with the bulk of them coming during the last half of the season where he won the title in Moscow, finished runner-up in Hamburg, beat Roger Federer on his way to the Cincinnati Masters quarter-finals and conquered Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios to reach the fourth round of the U.S. Open. Ending the season with four wins for Russia at the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid, Rublev has only lost once since November after becoming the first man since 2001 to win two titles in the opening fortnight of the season. Can he keep his momentum going in Rotterdam this week?
He faces the unpredictable Bublik for a spot in the quarter-finals. Also 22, Bublik is making his debut in Rotterdam this week and he got off to a winning start in his opening round, taking care of Frenchman Gregoire Barrere 6-3 6-7(2) 6-4.
Owner of a 6-0 record in Challenger finals, Bublik settled down and established himself as a top 100 player in 2019 after his initial breakthrough in 2017 and subsequent fall in 2018 that saw him drop to No. 253 in the world. Bublik started with his aforementioned success on the Challenger tour in 2019, winning titles in Budapest, Pau and Monterrey, before making new ground at tour-level later in the season, reaching his first ATP finals in Newport and Chengdu, where he lost to John Isner and Pablo Carreno Busta respectively. Bublik also reached his first Grand Slam third round at the U.S. Open to break into the top 50 for the first time.
Bublik has slipped to No. 56 after an opening round loss to Jordan Thompson at the Australian Open, while he failed to take advantage of multiple set points in the second set of his 6-3 7-6(9) loss to David Goffin in the second round of Montpellier last week.
Andrey Rublev vs Alexander Bublik Prediction
You never quite know what you’re going to get from Bublik, which always makes him dangerous, but I think Rublev is far too polished with his game at the moment to give him a shot here. Yes, all of their previous matches have gone the distance, but Rublev has gone to another level over the last few months. If the Russian finds his range with the forehand, this should be a relatively routine victory for Rublev.