The Terra Wortmann Open has reached the final stage. World No. 7 Andrey Rublev will take on the mystifying and 48th-ranked Alexander Bublik. Few players love playing in ATP 500 events more than the heavy-hitting Rublev.
If he can overcome Bublik in the final, Rublev would become the first player to ever win an ATP 500 event on three different surfaces (hard, clay, and grass). His dominance at this level is wonderfully impressive as these events typically have strong draws.
Rublev booked his place in the final by wearing down the rock-solid pro, Roberto Bautista Agut, in straight sets. Bublik used his unorthodox style to work his way past the home favorite Alexander Zverev.
Preview of the Halle Open title between Rublev and Bublik
A lot of players find the chaotic style of Bublik to be very difficult to handle. A combination of huge power on serve and from the baseline, underhand serves, slice drop shots, questionable decision making and more make playing him a wild ride.
However, Rublev has been able to withstand the chaos, as he holds a 3-0 advantage in their head-to-head matchups. The caveat to this being all three of those matches took place on indoor hard courts. The grass does seem to amplify Bublik’s overall game.
While you never know what version of Bublik you’re going to get, when it comes to Rublev, you can pencil in what to look for with absolute certainty. He is going to hammer his groundstrokes with little fear in the hopes of simply overwhelming his opponent.
Some would say this simplistic game plan is what holds Rublev back in the big events, particularly the Grand Slams. However, his win at the Masters 1000 event in Monte Carlo earlier this year shows it can be effective.
Bublik has one career title compared to the 13 titles won by Rublev. The experience of playing in these types of matches would normally be a boon for the 3-seed. I don’t think this logic applies to the mercurial Bublik as he does not seem fazed by such things.
It’ll be interesting to see what version of Bublik shows up. If he brings the game he has shown all week in Halle, Rublev will have a fight on his hands. With history beckoning, you can bet Rublev is going to go out swinging and lets things fall as they may. The fans packing the arena will be all the luckier for it.