TennisSection previews the 2021 US Open as Andrey Rublev (5) meets Ivo Karlovic in the First Round on Monday August 30th, 2021.
The fifth seeded Russian Andrey Rublev will face Ivo Karlovic of Croatia in the First Round of the 2021 US Open. Karlovic is playing the final tournament in his illustrious career and will be hoping to go out with a bang. He has been handed a very tricky opening match here against one of the premier hard court players on the ATP Tour and will want to give a good account of himself. Can the best server in history cause the massive upset and upset the fifth seed? Or will Rublev advance as expected in his search for a first Grand Slam title?
Andrey Rublev is currently ranked #7 on the ATP Tour and is the fifth seed at the 2021 US Open. The Russian has been one of the most outstanding and consistent players on the Tour over the past few years and has emerged as a dark horse contender for the title here in New York. He enters the US Open in good form, having reached the Final in Cincinnati last week and will be eager to improve on last year’s Quarter-Final exit here in Flushing Meadows. The fifth seed is the heavy favorite here against Ivo Karlovic but tends to struggle against big servers, losing twice to John Isner recently. If he plays to his strengths he is favored to win but will be in for a tough time dealing with the Karlovic serve.
Ivo Karlovic entered the 2021 US Open as a Qualifier, and is playing the final ATP Tournament of his career. The big-serving Croatian has seen his ranking fall massively over the past few seasons, and now sits at a lowly #223. At 42 years of age he has slowed down considerably, and has struggled to win matches recently. Earlier on this season he became the oldest man to win a Tour level match when he defeated Pablo Andujar at the Delray Beach Open. He is the massive underdog here against one of the best players in the world in Andrey Rublev but is likely to keep some of the sets competitive due to his huge serve. It is very unlikely that he can sustain a high enough level to keep him in the match for long, but we can expect at least a tiebreak or two here.
This will be the first meeting between the two players on the ATP Tour, and it unfortunately is likely to be Ivo Karlovic’s last. The tallest tennis player in history has had a fantastic career, reaching as high as #14 in the world rankings and is the all-time aces leader. However, he is now 42 years of age and has been on a significant decline over the past few years, and the draw has not been kind to him as he is facing one of the top players in the world in Andrey Rublev. The Russian is not the finished article yet and he sometimes struggles against big servers, but Karlovic is very unlikely to be able to break Rublev often if at all, and he will struggle to get through 3-5 sets against the intense world number 7. I expect one or two of the sets to be competitive due to the Karlovic serve, but the fifth seed will pull away and get the win here, advancing to the Second Round of the 2021 US Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Andrey Rublev to win
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