Defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas plays the winner of most titles in 2020, Andrey Rublev, in the second group match stage of the 2020 ATP finals at the O2 arena in London. The match is scheduled for Tuesday, November 17 and will begin at 8 pm local time (3 pm Eastern Time). Get the live streaming options of this Stefanos Tsitsipas v Andrey Rublev match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Stefanos Tsitsipas v Andrey Rublev Head to Head
This will be the fifth encounter between both players. The head-to-head is tied at 2-2. The players met twice in recent times, at the Hamburg Open final and French Open quarter-finals, and honors were split.
2019 Champion Looking For Turnaround After Narrow Opening Loss
It has been an overall good return to the tour since the Covid-19 hiatus for the 2019 defending champion here at the ATP Tour Finals, Stefanos Tsitsipas. While he will continue to regret a meltdown in his US Opener encounter against Borna Coric at match points up in the fourth set, the Greek did well to make the finals at the Hamburg Open and the semi-finals of the French Open and the Western & Southern Open.
In a difficult draw with Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Andrey Rublev, Tsitsipas played the opening match of the 2020 edition against Dominic Thiem, in a repeat of the 2019 final. Both players were off to a strong start with good serving and at the back of an 80% first serve percentage, the Greek looked primed to take the opening set tiebreak after being up 5-3 with a minibreak. But, some good shotmaking by Thiem and a brain fade by Tsitsipas at 5-5 in the breaker, gave Thiem the first set.
Tsitsipas broke early in the second and held serve with his strong serving to take the set 6-4 and similar to last year’s final between these two players, sent us into another final set. The Austrian started off strongly with an early break and was up 3-0. An epic service game followed for Thiem at 3-1, where he held after going to deuce six times and eventually kept the good serving going to close out the match 6-3 in the third.
The Greek is up next against Andrey Rublev, someone he has crossed paths with twice already in recent times, and with a final encounter awaiting against Rafael Nadal, the 2019 winner will know that a strong performance against the Russian will be needed to keep his hopes alive of a semi-final appearance.
Rublev Hoping To Return to His 2020 Form At The Earliest
It has been a phenomenal 2020 for the young Russian who was won five tournaments this year (more than anyone on the tour) already on hard courts, clay and indoors, at Doha, Adelaide, Hamburg, St.Petersburg and Vienna. Rublev looked a favorite for the Paris Masters 1000 as well, but lost a hard fought battle to veteran Swiss Stan Wawrinka.
The Russian broke into the top ten of the ATP rankings at the back of his phenomenal run, and also qualified for the Tour Finals for the first time in his career. His first appearance here at the tour Finals did not get off to the best of starts, where he started his campaign against the twenty time major winner and world number two Rafa Nadal.
After looking shaky at the Paris Masters, where his indoor weaknesses were exploited, Nadal was off to an aggressive start both on serve and return and never let go of the momentum. A break of serve in each set, and good serving and defense on his own serve was all he needed for a straight sets win and stamping his authority as a contender for the title. Rublev on the other hand was not his usual convincing self that he has been of late, attributing some of it to this being is first time on this big stage, and some to his opponent being none other than the all-time great, Rafa Nadal.
Similar to Tsitsipas, Rublev knows it is a must win situation now and he will hope to rekindle his 2020 form and register his debut win at the O2 arena on Tuesday.
Tsitsipas v Rublev Prediction and Tip
Although there is not much to choose between the two players, as was evidenced in their two meetings this year, Tsitsipas will start a slight favorite at the back of being the defending champion here and being more familiar with the conditions. It will be down to whose the better player on the day, but expect the Greek to inch ahead in three sets.
Tip: Tsitsipas to win in three sets: 10/3 (bet365)