TennisSection previews the 2021 Halle Open as Andrey Rublev (4) meets Karen Khachanov in the First Round on Tuesday June 15th, 2021.
A huge battle awaits us in the First Round of the 2021 Halle Open as fourth seeded Andrey Rublev of Russia meets countryman Karen Khachanov. This is expected to be a high-quality match between two very good opponents, and it is unusual to see such a high level in the First Round. Who will get the win and advance to the Second Round here in the first grass court event of the year?
Andrey Rublev is currently ranked #7 in the ATP world rankings and is the fourth seed here at the 2021 Halle Open. The Russian has been making waves on the ATP Tour of late, dominating the ATP-500 and finally starting to make his mark on the bigger events. Rublev will be eager to find form here in Halle after a disappointing French Open, but has drawn a tough opponent in the opening round. While he doesn’t really have the game style suited for grass, his ferocious approach to the game and his attitude make dangerous on any surface. His heavy groundstrokes will be a huge weapon on these fast courts if they are clicking, so it remains to be seen how he will transition from clay to grass. Despite his lack of a grass court resume, he enters this match against Karen Khachanov as the favorite to advance.
Karen Khachanov is unseeded here at the 2021 Halle Open despite being ranked #25 in the ATP world rankings, showing how packed with talent this field is. The Russian has been struggling for the past few years and will be hoping that Halle is the tournament to turn his fortunes around. Once ranked as high as #7 in the world, he has not performed to his usual standard over the past few years and has been disappointing again this season. He has a decent grass court record, with a win/loss of 17/10 over his career. While he enters this match against his countryman Andrey Rublev as the underdog, his experience will be critical if he is to advance to the Second Round here in Halle.
This will be the third meeting between the two players on the ATP Tour with Karen Khachanov leading the head to head 2-0, including a win here in Halle in 2017. However, they have not played in two years, and Andrey Rublev has vastly improved as a player since then, while Khachanov has regressed. With that in mind, it is hard to look past Rublev here at the 2021 Halle Open. He may not quite have the experience nor grass court experience as his opponent, but he has firmly established himself among the best on the ATP Tour and is on another level to Khachanov at the moment. It may take him a while to get going, but expect him to get the win here, advancing to the Second Round at the 2021 Halle Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Andrey Rublev to win