Rotterdam Open: ATP 500: Andy Murray vs Andrey Rublev: Preview and Prediction

The former World number 1, Andy Murray sets up an exciting clash against the fourth seed Andrey Rublev in the pre-quarterfinals of the Rotterdam Open. 

Murray had to use every ounce of his energy to oust the homeboy, Robin Haase in the first round. Trailing by 6-2, the Brit clinched the second set 7-6 (2) to take the clash to the decider. Haase was cruising with a 3-0 lead but Murray pocked 6 games in a row. It was his first win on the ATP Tour in six months. He smashed 6 aces and won 67% of his first-serve points. 

On the other hand, Rublev had a comfortable 7-6 (1) 6-3 win against American qualifier, Marcos Giron n his opener. The Russian hit 3 aces and claimed 78% of his first-serve points.

Head to Head record

Murray leads the head to head record 1-0 against Rublev. The Brit conceded only 5 games in a straight-set rout of Rublev in the second round of the 2017 Australian Open. 

Murray's return of serve will have to be at a high level against the all-round firepower of Rublev. Image Credits - Getty Images

Key Insights

  • Rublev is on a 16-match winning streak in ATP 500 events.
  • Murray is a former champion in Rotterdam having won the event in 2009.
  • Rublev won the highest number of matches on hard courts in the 2020 season with 41 wins and 4 titles.
  • Rublev has emerged victorious in 9 out of 10 matches this year.
  • Rublev, the World number 8 is the highest-ranked player on tour that Murray will face since he defeated Alexander Zverev in the Cincinnati Open 2020.
  • Murray is playing the tournament on a wildcard entry.

Game Analysis

While Murray is no doubt closer to the quality that took him to the top of the world rankings, he is making good progress with every passing day. His shot-making and court coverage stood out in pressure situations against Haase. He was also able to retrieve many drop shots with ease. 

Rublev will rely on his strong game from the baseline. His powerful forehand can fetch him a lot of winners. If he manages to hold his serve successfully, then Murray will be in big trouble. 

"Andy is a true legend, I have a really good connection with him, I really like him as a person, as a player, it is going to be fun, he destroyed me once already, I hope it is going to be a great match, I hope we are going to have great and long rallies, great fight, I am really looking forward to it," said Rublev expressing his eagerness ahead of the big clash. 

“Every time I lose a match, I am getting told to retire, that I should stop playing, that I am finished and I have got nothing left, there is a bit of extra doubt there, and on top of that I am playing with a metal hip, which is hard, it is a big challenge for me just now and one that I will meet head-on, but it is not easy," opined Murray taking a jibe at his critics who have been urging him to call it a day due to his poor run of form in the past few months. 

Rublev's big-hitting will meet its perfect match in Murray's relentless defense. However, the Russian's red-hot form on hardcourts may prove to be too good for an inconsistent Murray. Rublev could run away with the clash if Murray has a slow start similar to the match against Haase.

Prediction - Andrey Rublev to win in three sets

Featured Image Credits - Getty Images

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