In a clash of grit, young Russian Andrey Rublev plays Spanish veteran Roberto Bautista Agut in the third round of the 2021 Italian Open on Thursday, May 13th. Get the live streaming options of this Andrey Rublev v Roberto Bautista Agut match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Andrey Rublev v Roberto Bautista Agut Head to Head
The head-to-head is tied at 3-3. They have met twice in 2021 already, with Agut winning in Doha and Rublev in Monte Carlo.
Rublev Hoping For a Title Run On Clay
After a phenomenal 2020 winning five titles, making his first ever Tour Finals and breaking into the top eight in the ATP rankings, Rublev continued his strong run of form at the start of the season too, leading Russia to the finals of the ATP Cup. The Russian was in ominous form at the Australian Open too, until the quarter-finals where he ran into compatriot Daniil Medvedev and lost in straight sets.
Rublev added to his title count at Rotterdam winning another ATP 500, but despite several strong runs thereafter (Doha, Dubai. Miami), he fell short on each occasion in the semi-finals.
Having won the ATP 500 on the Hamburg clay last year, Rublev started the clay season looking confident defeating Rafa Nadal at Monte Carlo and making the finals, but falling short against first time Masters 1000 winner Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Russian fell in the Barcelona quarter-finals against Jannik Sinner and will be disappointed at his loss in Madrid last week against big serving American John Isner.
Rublev came into Rome looking at a deep run that would set him up well for the French Open which is now around the corner. However, the Russian has not looked his smooth self since Madrid and was again pushed by German Jan-Lennard Struff who won the first set in the tie-break but Rublev came back strong to close out the match 6-1,6-4.
As the challenge gets stiffer going into the week, Rublev will be hoping to hit prime form here on as he has his eyes on a first ever Masters 1000 title.
Agut Solidifying Clay Returns
Roberto Bautista Agut has been one of the more consistent players on the tour in recent years, breaking into the top ten in 2019 with an all-time career high ranking of world number nine. Although the pandemic-shortened 2020 was not overly successful for the Spaniard and 2021 did not start too well for him either, Agut has had some good runs in recent tournaments.
A finalist at Montpellier and Doha, and a semi-finalist in Miami, Agut will be content with his hard court runs. Coming into the slower clay swing, Agut lost in the round of 16 at both Monte Carlo and Barcelona, just when he was getting into some sort of rhythm, against Andrey Rublev and Jannik Sinner. Similar to Rublev, he fell in the Madrid Masters 1000 at the hands of the big serves of John Isner.
In his first round here, Agut looked strong and comfortable against American Tommy Paul as he prevailed in straight sets. What will have done a world of good to the Spaniard’s confidence is his straight sets win against clay court specialist Cristain Garin in the second round as Agut strives to make a good run here this week.
Rublev v Agut Prediction and Tip
This makes for a tight contest between two rather evenly matched players, as evidenced by the two occasions that they met earlier this year.
Expect another close fight here, but on the clay Rublev should prevail in a three-setter.