ATP Astana Open Semifinal Predictions Including Alexander Bublik vs Soonwoo Kwon

Alexander Bublik

The semifinal matches at the ATP Astana Open are upon us, and the high-octane action hasn’t yet failed to amaze us. From a draw featuring highly experienced and seasoned professionals, there are four men standing. Out of the four, three are yet to win an ATP title, and one secured his barely a month ago. They will be equally hungry to taste the glory here. Let’s see who makes it to the title clash. Who do you think will move on?

ATP Astana Open Day 4 predictions

Ilya Ivashka vs James Duckworth

Head-to-head: Ivashka 1-1 Duckworth

Ilya Ivashka, the 27-year-old Belarusian did not face a real strong opponent until the quarterfinals, where he met Emil Ruusuvuori. He managed to overcome Ruusuvuori in three sets, which was his toughest match so far. Ivashka, with his big and accurate serve, along with a strong baseline game, is hard for anyone to overcome at the moment. On the other side, James Duckworth is enjoying a dream run here. In his own words, Duckworth came here to win a few matches, but now he finds himself in the semifinal, with a chance to win his first ATP title. His drubbing of John Millman, the defending champion, can be attributed to his superior serves. The first semifinal promises to be a cracker.

Aged 27 and 29, these guys have had a lot of time on tour. Both of them graduated to the main tour from Challengers at around the same time. Hence, it comes as a surprise that they contested their first match in June this year. Their second meeting was not long to follow, and the head-to-head is poised evenly at 1-1. It is safe to say that Ivashka’s defense is one of the best in business. He has the ability to soak up power, and also attack from the baseline. Duckworth, when his forehand does not spill errors, looks unstoppable. He adopted an all-in attack strategy against Millman that paid dividends. He will have to keep the intensity at the same level to beat Ivashka. It has been his defense and tenacity that has brought Ivashka to the semis. It will be interesting to see if it can hold up against the ultra-attacking Duckworth. I feel that it will.
Prediction: Ivashka in 3

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Soonwoo Kwon vs Alexander Bublik

Head-to-head: Kwon 0-1 Bublik

Soonwoo Kwon, the rising star from South Korea, is the youngest of the semifinalists. In the second round, Kwon defeated 3rd seed Dusan Lajovic in straight sets. After that, he overcame 7th seeded Laslo Djere, making it clear that he is here for business. Kwon has shown remarkable poise on the crunch points. On the other hand, there is the home-favorite and towering Kazakh, Alexander Bublik. Bublik did not have much problems coming on top against Carlos Taberner in the quarterfinal. His real challenge was in the second round, which he passed by defeating Miomir Kecmanovic in a three-setter. He has been smashing aces for fun, and reaches the semis pretty easily. He will hope to give his country a chance to celebrate by winning a title on home soil.

The pair have met once before, back in 2017, when Bublik won in straight sets. The reason behind Kwon’s impressive run till the semifinals here is his great defense. He wears down the opponent, forcing him to go for desperate shots, making errors. He used this tactic to great effect in his quarterfinal match, as Djere crumbled in the deciding set, losing it 6-o. Bublik, with his bullet-backhand and monster serve, is quite the opposite of Kwon. He likes to get on with the point as fast as he can. Bublik has hit 35 aces in two matches so far, which is unheard of in best-of-two set matches. If Kwon manages to handle Bublik’s serve, he will have to defend extremely well to challenge Bublik. Still, Bublik should win this. He is playing on a new level at the moment.
Prediction: Bublik in 2

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