After a day of upsets, one semifinal between Kevin Anderson, a resurgent former slam finalist, and Andrey Rublev, the rising talent of 2020 and another unexpected contest between Novak Djokovic’s conqueror Lorenzo Sonego and the steadily improving Dan Evans.
ATP Vienna Open Semifinal Predictions Including Andrey Rublev vs Kevin Anderson
Lorenzo Sonego vs Dan Evans
Head to head: 0-0
Lorenzo Sonego may be an exciting tennis player but he would be an atrocious actor given his complete inability to follow the script. Coming up against the world number one Novak Djokovic on the Serb’s favored hard court the most that could be expected of the talented young Italian was a close loss. Sonego, however, took the racquet out of Djokovic’s hands thumping him by a score line that would make Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal jealous. Djokovic was not at his best and, having all but secured the year end world number one ranking with his win over Borna Coric some questioned his commitment in the match. However, Djokovic routinely tried to fight his way back from the brink only to have the door more firmly shut on him by a riotously inspired Sonego. It wasn’t just that Djokovic was a little flat, Sonego could do no wrong.
Dan Evans had a much different match against Grigor Dimitrov. The upset he scored after a three set battle ensured an unlikely semifinal. Evans’s naturally idiosyncratic style which incorporates liberal use of the low slice in addition to aggressive net-rushing and crafty baseline play can disrupt any player. Sonego’s ability to cope with Evans’ unorthodox shot making will make all the difference. Overall, Evans, riding high on a career-best season, should prevail.
Prediction: Evans in 3.
Andrey Rublev vs Kevin Anderson
Head to head: 1-1
Kevin Anderson is 11 years older than Andrey Rublev, sits 103 places lower in the rankings, and has had about 1/6 as many victories on tour in 2020. However, Anderson’s tennis is world class and he has twice been a grand slam finalist. Daniil Medvedev, the fourth seed in Vienna and himself a former slam finalist, fell in straight sets to the big-serving South African. Medvedev may not be playing at the heights of his best run of form in the late summer and into the fall of last year, but he played well in his quarterfinal against Anderson. Medvedev had no answer to Anderson’s powerful, accurate serving and huge groundstrokes. Anderson also kept cool in the business end of both sets especially in the second set tiebreak that decided the match. To beat Rublev, he’ll need to improve his break point conversion against Rublev who has been playing exceptional tennis all year. Anderson won one of the seven break points he created against Medvedev, a number that will likely be insufficient against Rublev. While his big game makes break points rare and defending them easier, Rublev will likely create more opportunities for himself than Medvedev did.
Rublev goes into the match a slight but not heavy favorite just on the form he is displaying. Both he and Anderson are players perfectly suited to the hard courts of Vienna. Anderson looks so secure in his tennis that, though Rublev would appear on paper the more likely winner, he should prevail over the young Russian in a spirited contest.
Prediction: Anderson in 3.