Rublev vs Kudla (By: Iniestaone)
Rotterdam semifinal qualifier between Rublev (#101) and Kudla (#63)
My pick for Saturday comes from the Rotterdam qualifiers and its for Rublev to defeat Kudla in straight sets. For those of you that might be mislead by the ranking, Rublev is a solid top 50 player who missed a lot of tennis last year due to back injuries.
Rublev defeated Kudla twice last year, once on hardcourt in Washington and once on indoor in Vienna. Both times he won in straight sets and both times he was worse off physicially than he is today. He went through both matches unbroken and even bageled Kudla in their last meeting in Vienna in October.
The class difference between these players is huge and I think Rublev's preparations are a lot better as well as he hasn't played since his Australian Open exit in the first round vs McDonald but he has been getting in good practice since then, he was in Switzerland with the Russian DC team and had to make the short trip to Rotterdam from Biel a few days ago while Kudla played Montpellier four days ago where he was knocked out immediately by Herbert 2-6 1-6. He is not a good indoors player, he has good stats on the surface because when it comes to indoor tennis he plays mainly challengers.
I think its time to start treating Rublev as the player he was before mid 2018, he is showing signs off great progress in his physique and the skills are obviously still there. Unless we see something extraordinary from Kudla here, Rublev will win this match in two comfortable sets. Last year he reached the quarterfinals in Rotterdam after defeating Pouille and Dzumhur in straight sets and then losing to Dimitrov 3-6 4-6, I think he is very motivated to have another good run here
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Rublev vs Kudla prediction
|Rublev 2-0||Bet365||2.20||8||2-1 LOST (-8 units)|