Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Andrey Rublev US Open Picks 8/27/2019
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Andrey Rublev
10 am EST, 27th August 2019
New York, NY (USA)
After having a very strong summer on clay, Stefanos Tsitsipas failed to maintain that level of performance on other surfaces. He lost in first rounds of both Hertogenbosch and Wimbledon (grass). And then failed to improve on that after arriving in North America. Correction, he did flash some better tennis in Washington, but then went right back to losing by getting eliminated in first rounds of Montreal and Cincinnati. Not reaching the 2nd round in 3 out of the last 4 tournaments is not something you expect from a top 10 player. He needs to get his act together fast if he doesn't want to slide further down the rankings. Also, with couple more losses, other players might start breathing down his neck for the spot in the ATP Finals. He's not defending a ton from last year's US Open. He was eliminated in the 2nd round by Danil Medvedev, which is also his best result in this event so far.
When talking about Rublev's season, it's been quite the opposite. He didn't shine in summer, but once the grass-court season ended, his form started to trend upwards. First, he had a great tournament in Hamburg, where Basilashvili stopped him in the finals. And then after stumbling early in Washington and Montreal, he played really well in Cincy and Winston Salem. In Cincinnati, he achieved one of his biggest wins in his career, beating Roger Federer. The great Swiss hasn't suffered such a defeat in quite a while, considering that Rublev conceded only 7 games total. The Russian timed his form beautifully for the last Grand slam of the season. Whether that was planned or random, it doesn't really matter right now. The fact is that he is in very good form at the moment and Stefanos will not have an easy job in the first round. He had a strong run in Flushing Meadows in 2017, when he lost to Rafa Nadal in QF, after beating Goffin and Dimitrov, among others.
Rublev is only a year older then Tsitsipas. This means they are probably quite familiar with each other's game, after playing together on all the levels of competition. It's going to be their first match on the ATP Tour, but they already have 3 recorded matches earlier. First, they've split one each in 2014 as juniors, while the third was won by Rublev in Quimper Challenger.
Tsitsipas has the game to beat Rublev, there is no doubt about it. But the problem for the Greek is that the execution has to be on point when Andrey is in such a good form. The Russian player isn't the most versatile player in the world. He relies on a couple of things but does those really good. He is a rhythm ball-striker, who moves well side to side and can hit consistently good ball with his groundstrokes.
Betting odds & prediction
Versus such an opponent, you need to mix things up and break that rhythm by changing up the pace with a wide variety of shots. As I said, Tsitsipas has that in his arsenal, but the real question is if he can execute that type of gameplan considering his poor form. Laying games with Stefanos here would be comparable with catching the falling knife. You could pull it off, but the risk/reward ratio simply doesn't make much sense. Expecting Rublev to make a dogfight out of this one with his solid baseline game and cover the number.
Pick: Andrey Rublev +4 (-101)
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