ATP Hamburg Open Final Prediction: Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Andrey Rublev

Nikoloz Basilashvili Hamburg
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The 2019 Hamburg Open will see Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili aim to take the final step towards defending his crown when he takes on the rejuvenated Andrey Rublev in Sunday’s final. But who will be the last man standing in the last clay-court ATP 500 event of the year?

ATP Hamburg Open Final Prediction

Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Andrey Rublev

Head-to-head: Basilashvili 1-0 Rublev

Reigning champion Basilashvili fought back from the brink of defeat to save two match points and overcome a 5-2 deficit in the final set tiebreak to stun local favorite and world #5 Alexander Zverev. It earned him the second top five win of his career, the first came against Juan Martin Del Potro in Beijing last season, and booked his spot in the third ATP final of his career.

Basilashvili is currently on an 11-match unbeaten streak in Hamburg. It dates back to last year when he entered the event as a qualifier ranked 81st in the world, before winning his maiden ATP title. That made him the first and thus far only Georgian to win an ATP tour-level title and he continued that fine form later in the year. He reached the fourth round of the US Open, taking a set off Rafael Nadal in a memorable encounter, before winning the China Open in October.

But the world #16’s results in 2019 have not reflected his ranking. The 27-year-old’s best result of the season had been a semifinal showing in Lyon and his win-loss record stood at 15-16 coming into this week. But he benefited from not having many points to defend during the first part of the year and victory at the Hamburg Open could well see him kick on to enjoy another successful conclusion to the season.

Rublev, much like Basilashvili, needed to manufacture his own comeback to oust Pablo Carreno Busta in the second semifinal. Rublev had trailed his Spanish opponent 6-4 4-2 before battling back to win 6-4 7-5 6-1 and advance to his first final at ATP 500-level. In fact, it will be the Russian’s first tour final since Doha 2018, which came in the first week of last season.

Rublev’s only success so far came on the clay in Umag two years ago when he won the title as a lucky loser. He did climb as high as #31 in the rankings in February last year, but has struggled with injuries over the past year and a half. That has seen him fall back into the pack of challengers having once ranked amongst the leading lights of the NextGen after reaching the US Open quarterfinals and the title-match at the NextGen finals in Milan in 2017. But he has looked back to his best so far in Hamburg.

Who Will Win?

Both these players have defied the odds and elevated their performances to reach this stage. The pair are not too dissimilar in their style of play, with both playing with aggression from the back of the court, which will likely make this a match featuring plenty of winners and unforced errors.

The Russian has had a slightly more difficult run to the final, beating top seed Dominic Thiem en route. But Basilashvili should not be underestimated and is clearly at home playing at the Hamburg Open. Given how evenly matched these players are, this contest will likely be decided by very few points which may give the defending champion Basilashvili the edge. Particularly as he saved an incredible 16 out of 20 break points against Zverev.

Prediction: Basilashvili in 3

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