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Friday, August 12, 2022
Home Sports Rublev vs. Hurkacz, Shapovalov vs. Vesely

Rublev vs. Hurkacz, Shapovalov vs. Vesely


Andrey Rublev and Hubert Hurkacz are the two highest-remaining seeds in Dubai, and they will face each other in the semifinals on Friday. Jiri Vesely looks to build on his upset of Novak Djokovic when he meets Denis Shapovalov.

(5) Hubert Hurkacz vs. (2) Andrey Rublev

Rublev and Hurkacz will be going head-to-head for the third time in their careers when they battle for a spot in the final at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Friday. Hurkacz has won both of their previous encounters; 7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-2 at the 2020 Rome Masters and 6-3, 6-4 in the Miami semifinals last spring. The 11th-ranked Pole has to like his chances again given how well he has been playing this week. Hurkacz’s 2022 struggles seem to be a thing of the past following straight-set defeats of Alexander Bublik, Alex Molcan, and Jannik Sinner.

Hubert Hurkacz

Rublev is in even better form, but he may be wearing down both mentally and physically at the moment. The seventh-ranked Russian reached the Rotterdam semis and then captured the Marseille title in the past two weeks. Now he is coming off consecutive three-setters against Soonwoo Kwon and Mackenzie McDonald, and his opening victory over Dan Evans also was not easy. This sets up well for Hurkacz maintain his mastery of this matchup.

Pick: Hurkacz in 3

(Q) Jiri Vesely vs. (6) Denis Shapovalov

To an even greater extent than Hurkacz, Vesely’s performance in Dubai has come completely out of nowhere. The 28-year-old is toiling away at No. 123 in the world and he had been a dreadful 1-5 at the ATP level in 2022 prior to this week. But Vesely managed to qualify for the main draw and since then he has been invincible. The Czech booked his spot in the last four by beating Marin Cilic, Roberto Bautista Agut, and Novak Djokovic all in straight sets. Vesely’s upset of Djokovic guarantees that Daniil Medvedev will surpass the Serb at No. 1 in the world on Monday.

Friday marks the first-ever meeting between Shapovalov and Vesely. Shapovalov made a run to the Australian Open quarterfinals and he is back in business in Dubai with defeats of Marton Fucsovics, Taro Daniel, and Ricardas Berankis. Both of these left-handers can be a bit all over the place, but Shapovalov has more experience at this point in top-flight tournaments and it will not be easy for Vesely to follow up such an amazing effort against Djokovic.

Pick: Shapovalov in 2



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