World number 12 Andrey Rublev will face Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz in the second round of the 2020 Italian Open with match to be played on Thursday, September 17. The exact match timing is yet to be determined. Get the live streaming options of this Andrey Rublev v Hubert Hurkacz match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Andrey Rublev v Hubert Hurkacz Head to Head
This will be the first match between Rublev and Hurkacz in their competitive career.
Rublev Makes a Quick Adjustment
Little less than a week go, Andrey Rublev was playing Daniil Medvedev in the quarterfinal of the US Open. It turned out to be a one-sided match but nothing can take away from his campaign in New York that saw him reach the last eight stage of a major for the second time in his career.
A week on, the Russian was involved in his first clay court ATP tournament of the season and way he came through seemed like he had almost turned on the ‘clay-court’ switch. A straightforward, straight-set victory over Facundo Bagnis, who has 12 Challenger and five Futures tournaments on clay would be deeply satisfying for Rublev.
There will be sterner tests in the future for Rublev but there’s a strong sense the Russian has been aiming to up the ante as far as playing on clay is concerned. While he has won a clay court title and reached the final of another, Rublev’s never made it past the second round at the Monte-Carlo Masters, the first round at the French Open, never participated in Madrid and just played once in Rome before this.
Now, in one stroke, he has already emulated his best combined showing in these four major clay court competitions. Another win in Rome and it would already be his best ever showing.
It might not be easy though as he takes on the 23-year-old Hurkacz in this second round match.
Hurkacz Coming off Kitzbuhel Shock
Hurkacz, ranked 31st in the world, was the fifth seed at Kitzbuhel and with most of the big players missing from action because of the US Open, he had a good chance of going all the way.
Instead, he suffered a shock second round loss at the hands of the lowly-ranked Maximilian Marterer leaving him with a lot of questions but no real answers. This has been that kind of a season for him and it would only get worse if he doesn’t get those answers and soon.
Because other than a semifinal berth at the Auckland Open, Hurkacz hasn’t found the gear he needs to go deeper into the tournaments. At the Australian Open he was ousted in the second round, at Marseille Open he repeated that same performance, and then again at the US Open after the pandemic break.
And then there were other tournaments in which Hurkacz didn’t even get off the blocks, losing in the first round.
Clay is his favourite surface and up against him here is a player who is looking to spread his wings on red dirt too but at his best, Hurkacz will have to believe he can get past Rublev. Unfortunately though, the question is if Hurkacz is at his best at the moment.
Andrey Rublev v Hubert Hurkacz Prediction and Tip
Rublev is a whopping odds on favourite to win this, with bet365 offering 2/11 for his win. We reckon Hurkacz could try and get a toe in and pull off winning a set but he will have to be at his absolute best for that.
Tip: Hurkacz to win a set: 5/4 (bet365)