It may have taken quite a bit of time, but the first big name casualty at the 2019 German Open in Hamburg was surprisingly the top seed Dominic Thiem, who fell to a barrage of aggressive hitting from Andrey Rublev. The Austrian-–playing in Hamburg for the third straight year–is yet to advance past the quarterfinals.
Who will be the two men contesting Sunday’s final?
ATP Hamburg Semifinal Predictions
Andrey Rublev vs Pablo Carreno Busta
Head-to-Head: Rublev 1-0 Carreno Busta
Andrey Rublev scored the biggest win of his career in his stunning straight sets victory over French Open finalist and World No.4 Dominic Thiem. The Russian recovered from a double break deficit in the first set and won in two tiebreaks. It was Rublev’s second top-10 win of his career, following up on from his victory over then No.9 ranked Grigor Dimitrov at the 2017 US Open. Rublev has now bettered his season’s best result, which was also a quarterfinal in Marseille, and will play in the semifinals of a tour-level event for the first time since Washington in 2018.
Pablo Carreno Busta will stand in his way. The 28-year-old Spaniard beat former champion Fabio Fognini for 7th time in their head-to-head at the 7th match point in a dramatic three-setter. Carreno Busta, much like Rublev, has had a difficult last 18 months. After securing a Top 10 finish in 2017 season, the resilient Spaniard dropped out of the World’s top 50 this year due to injuries and loss of form. But there is still a chance to resurrect his 2019 season starting with his semifinal meeting against Rublev.
Rublev usually generates plenty of winners from the back of the court. He will need to temper that baseline aggression with patience against Carreno Busta, who is a consistent baseliner. I am siding with the Russian in this one as he is the more steadier of the pair.
Prediction: Rublev in 3
Alexander Zverev vs Nikoloz Basilashvili
Head-to-Head: Zverev 1-0 Basilashvili
Alexander Zverev rallied from a set a break down to defeat a spirited Filip Krajinovic in the quarterfinals. Zverev advances to his third semifinal of the season. With his back against the wall, the German riffled a succession of winners from his backhand to earn a decisive break while trailing 6-2 5-3. The World No.5 has been below par for much of the 2019 season, but he is enjoying one of his better weeks of the year in Hamburg where he also reached the semifinals as a teenager in 2014. Zverev’s other semifinals this year came in Acapulco and Geneva; he made the final in former and won the title in the latter.
The second seed will play the defending champion Nikoloz Basilashvili for a spot in the final on Sunday. Basilashvili is unbeaten in his last eight main draw matches in Hamburg and defied the odds to win last year’s edition. He became the first and only Georgian to win an ATP title and followed that success with another title triumph in Beijing just a few months later. His ranking naturally shot up and he is currently a Top 20 player (No.16). But will the Georgian continue to dazzle in Hamburg yet again? I think this is where Basilashvili’s streak comes to an end. Despite the dodgy form he has shown for much of the season, Zverev has been playing at a decent level this week. Although it wouldn’t be a massive surprise if Basilshvili wins, the Georgian does have a tendency to be erratic.
Prediction: Zverev in 3
Main Photo from Getty.
Disagree with our ATP Hamburg Semifinal Predictions? As always, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.