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Andrey Rublev v Frances Tiafoe Tips & Live Stream
- Back Tiafoe to win
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 01: Frances Tiafoe of the United States celebrates after defeating Guido Pella of Argentina during his Men's Singles second round match on Day Three of the 2021 US Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 01, 2021 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
I had my eye on this match-up as soon as I saw the draw, and it is this match-up that has me skeptical regarding the current outright price on Andrey Rublev.
I think this is a better match-up for American Frances Tiafoe than those setting the odds currently think, for a couple of reasons. First of all, it has been refreshing to see the level of tennis that Tiafoe has been able to produce in North America with crowds back in attendance. Tiafoe has appeared at times to struggle in the last 12 months when tournaments have been run without fans, and you only need to look at his interactions with them to see how comfortable he looks with the stands full again.
The sweet spot of an American crowd on Arthur Ashe in the night session, as well as the American being an underdog, is a great little situational spot to consider. Whilst she couldn’t get over the line on Day 4, it is worth noting just how engaged the home crowd was in the match between Amanda Anisimova and Karolina Pliskova. The engaged crowd favours Tiafoe.
I also think this match-up suits the American. My major concerns around Tiafoe and his level are at their greatest when he is in matchups against players who have covered the court exceptionally well, however, lack the power in their games. The need for Tiafoe to generate all the power and pace in rallies can cause him to overhit at times, so to see Rublev across the net shouldn’t be the worst sight.
His recent losses on hardcourt (to Schwartzman and Ymer) back up this statement. Instead, he will be receiving pace from the other end of the court, is athletic enough to be defensive when needed, and has the style of game that can be incredibly frustrating for a player like Rublev, who can have a short fuse at times. He has also proven often his ability to go the distance over the longer format, so I have no fitness concerns.
When you cast an eye over the recent form of Rublev, I don’t view it to be overly dominant. Yes, there is the win over Medvedev (who went off the boil after running into the camera), however, I don’t see three-set wins over Paire and Cilic, two tiebreaks over Monfils, straight-set losses to Isner and Zverev and wins here against Karlovic and Martinez as groundbreaking form to justify the price here.