TennisSection previews the 2021 Rome Open as Andrey Rublev (7) meets Roberto Bautista Agut in the Round of 16 on Thursday May 13th, 2021.
A huge battle is expected as seventh seeded Andrey Rublev of Russia faces tenth seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in the Round of 16 here at the 2021 Rome Open. Both men are firmly established as two of the best players on the ATP Tour, and have been remarkably consistent over the past few seasons. Will it be the exciting young star Andrey Rublev getting the win and advancing to yet another Quarter-Final? Or can the super-solid veteran Bautista Agut grind his way to victory?
Andrey Rublev is currently ranked #7 on the ATP world rankings and has truly become a superstar over the past two seasons. The Russian has been extremely consistent, winning numerous ATP-500 titles but has finally started translating some of that success into the bigger events. After a breakthrough Finals run at the Monte-Carlo Open, he reached the Quarters in Barcelona and then an uncharacteristically poor performance in Madrid, losing to John Isner. He was then taken to three tough sets by Jan-Lennard Struff in his first match here at the 2021 Rome Open, so one must wonder if fatigue is taking a toll on him. If he is fully fit he should be considered the slight favorite here, but if he is anything less than his best then RBA will be ready and able to take full advantage.
Roberto Bautista Agut is currently ranked #11 in the ATP world rankings and is the tenth seed here at the 2021 Rome Open. Bautista Agut has been one of the most consistent players in the world over the past decade, and has a wealth of experience. However, the Spaniard has been having a uncharacteristically inconsistent season so far in 2021, reaching Finals in Montpelier and Qatar, with numerous early-round losses scattered in between. RBA has started strongly here in Rome, with straight set wins over Tommy Paul and the in-form Cristian Garin. The Garin win was particularly impressive, and the tenth seed is always confident of getting wins over the top players. While he is the slight betting underdog, he has looked more assured so far here than his opponent Andrey Rublev, and has a good chance of sneaking the win here.
This will be the seventh time that the two players have faced each other on the ATP Tour, with the head to head record tied at 3-3. Two of those matches have been on clay, with the Russian winning both of them. While Roberto Bautista Agut is a very strong and very rarely has bad performances, it is hard to look past Andrey Rublev here. He has simply been outstanding this year, and I think he has just a little too much firepower for the veteran to handle. If he is not at his best however, or his legs are heavy due to the sheer volume of tennis that he has played this year, RBA will be able to get the win. I expect a huge battle with the momentum changing often, but the Russian star eventually grinding out a hard fought win. Andrey Rublev will win in three sets, advancing to the Quarter-Finals here at the 2021 Rome Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Andrey Rublev to win in three sets.