The Pick: Andrey Rublev vs. Marton Fucsovics, Rotterdam final showdown

The Pick: Andrey Rublev vs. Marton Fucsovics, Rotterdam final showdown

After sharing a tight contest at Roland Garros last year, Rublev and Fucsovics will now meet for the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament trophy on Sunday.

At Roland Garros last October, Marton Fucsovics was in prime position to open a two-set lead against Andrey Rublev in their round-of-16 encounter by asserting himself as the more imposing ballstriker.

Making his third appearance in the fourth round of a Grand Slam event, Fucsovics hoped to become the first Hungarian man to reach a major quarterfinal in 39 years. Instead, Rublev erased a 6-7 (4), 2-5 deficit to win five consecutive games, and would ultimately prevail in four tight sets—saving three set points in the fourth—to avoid the fate Fucsovics had handed his countryman Daniil Medvedev in the opening round.

AP Images

On Sunday in Rotterdam, Rublev and Fucsovics will clash once again in another big-match opportunity. Both produced plenty of bright spots Saturday in setting the final showdown at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.

Rublev began the day by avenging his French Open and ATP Finals defeats to Stefanos Tsitsipas with a 6-3, 7-6 (2) victory. The 23-year-old delivered his best tennis of the week thus far with confident authority, unloading 34 winners to just 14 unforced errors while positioning himself inside the baseline.

One noteworthy area of Rublev’s game that stood out? His willingness to come forward more. The tactic was extremely effective—both in his selection during rallies and execution in closing points—against Tsitsipas, as he was rewarded with a 19 for 22 success rate.

Fucsovics, who had to come through qualifying, was equally as impressive against Borna Coric. After winning a competitive opening set, the world No. 59 pulled away from the Croatian, 6-4, 6-1, to complete a sharp performance highlighted by going five-for-five on break points.

When on, Fucsovics’ variety is so clean to the eyes and ears. His backhand slice is world class, and his forehand has explosive qualities that rival Rublev’s.

With the way each worthy finalist is playing, the race to the finish line may go down to the wire late in a deciding set. But there is one undeniable x-factor working in Rublev’s favor: his unbeaten run at ATP 500 events.

With a 19-match win streak on this stage, coupled with his opponent’s 1-14 lifetime record against Top 10 opposition, how can one not tip the scale in the Russian’s favor? The Pick: Andrey Rublev