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ATP Dubai 2024: Alexander Bublik vs Andrey Rublev, Preview, Head-to-Head, Prediction

Published 02/29/2024, 11:10 PM EST

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The 2024 Dubai Open will see Alexander Bublik take on Andrey Rublev in the first semi-final on Friday. This will be their fifth clash on the ATP Tour, with the Russian Rublev holding a 4-1 edge over Bublik, with their latest meeting coming last year at Wimbledon. At the Dubai Open, their path to the semi-finals has been quite similar.

Both players staged a comeback to win their respective first-round matches and then won in straight sets in the second round. Interestingly, enough, both won their quarterfinal bouts after their opponents retired halfway through the second set.

Alexander Bublik vs Andrey Rublev: Preview

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Bublik began 2024 with Adelaide International, where he made it to the semifinals before being eliminated after two sets. His Australian Open appearance did not go well, as he fell to Sumit Nagal in the first round. He followed the competition with a complete turnaround, winning the Open Sud De France.

However, the Kazakh was unable to replicate his achievements in the ATP Rotterdam and Qatar Open, where he lost in the second round of both tournaments. At the Dubai Open, Bublik has been the bold player fortune favors. He won two matches after facing three tiebreakers and received a walkover. In the first round, he scrapped past Tomas Machac in three sets winning 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5). He then beat Tallon Griekspoor 7-6 (10-8), 7-6 (7-2) to reach the quarter-finals.

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Jiri Lehecka was his opponent in the last eight whom he was leading 6-4, 4-1 before an injury forced Lehecka to quit. Now, Bublik is one step away from competing for the title.

via Reuters

Rublev opened the year with a bang, winning the Hong Kong Open, his first tournament of the season. He also advanced to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open after a remarkable comeback against Alex De Minaur in the fourth round. De Minaur would avenge himself in the ATP Rotterdam quarterfinals, defeating Rublev.

Rublev reached the quarterfinals of the Qatar Open but fell to Jakub Mensik in a tough straight-set match. In Dubai, Rublev had a tough battle against Zhang Zhizhen in the first round. But he managed to come back from a set down to win 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-4. A last 16 meeting with Arthur Cazaux ended in a straightforward 6-4, 6-4 for Rublev.

In the quarter-finals, he faced off against Sebastian Korda. Rublev won the first set 6-4 and was leading 4-3 in the second set when Korda called for a medical timeout and had to stop playing due to an injury. Rublev now marches to his fourth consecutive semifinal at the venue.

In his career, Bublik has won three ATP titles. These include the 2022 Open Sud De France, the 2023 Halle Open, and the Open Sud De France 2024. Meanwhile, Rublev has 15 ATP titles to his name including the Monte Carlo 2023, Madrid Open 2023, Dubai Championship 2022, and more recently the Hong Kong Open 2024.

Bublik vs Rublev: Head-to-Head

Bublik and Rublev have met each other five times. Their first match on the Tour was in the 2019 Kremlin Cup in Moscow where Rublev won 6-1, 3-6, 6-4. Their next meeting was in the Erste Bank Open in 2019, where Rublev would once again be the victor, winning yet again in three sets 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (8-6).

The two would then meet in the 2020 ATP Rotterdam, where the Russian would go on to win their third clash, this time in straight sets 7-5, 6-3. Bublik would then record his first official win over Rublev at the 2023 Halle Open final, where the Kazakh won their clash 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 and lifted the title.

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They would have a monumental clash following Wimbledon. After a grueling five-set battle, Rublev advanced further winning  7-5, 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 6-7 (5-7), 6-4.

Prediction: Rublev to end Bublik’s stint

While both players have put on fantastic performances in the last two months, Rublev’s momentum puts him above Bublik at the moment. The Russian star is 5th in the ATP rankings, whereas Alexander Bublik is ranked 23rd. Rublev also holds the edge in this clash. Not only this, his recent record in Dubai bodes well for him,

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He won the Dubai Open in 2022 and reached the final last year. Although their last contest saw Bublik emerge victorious in an end-to-end battle, Rublev is expected to overcome him this time around.

Hence, we predict Rublev to come out on top and have a shot at the title again. This time, he would be hoping to go one better.

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Written by:

Ripunjay Gaba

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Ripunjay Gaba, a tennis enthusiast-turned-journalist at EssentiallySports, found his way from freelance sports journalism to the publishing house in ES. Here, his writing canvas encompasses the game specifics while finding poetic resonance in covering major sporting events. Ripunjay, a perpetual upgrader, uses avid reading to bring varied flavor to his Tennis reporting.
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Edited by:

Ananya Giri