Andrey Rublev of Russia celebrates after winning a point against Casper Ruud of Norway during their semifinal match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters tournament in Monaco, Saturday, April 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)
- Andrey Rublev is into his first Masters 1000 singles final, to face Stefanos Tsitsipas Sunday at 8:30 am EDT
- The Russian is ranked lower, but is the slight favorite going into the match
- For a breakdown of their rivalry, and the best bets, read on
Ten months apart in age, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev are about as evenly matched as can be.
Monte-Carlo Masters Final Odds
|Player||Spread||Moneyline at DraftKings||Total|
| Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE)||+1.5 (-124)||+105||O 22.5 (-124)|
| Andrey Rublev (RUS)||-1.5 (+102)||-125||U 22.5 (+102)|
Odds as of April 17
Rivals Since Their Junior Days
They are 3-3 when they’ve met on the ATP Tour.
On clay, the surface in Monte-Carlo, they are 1-1.
In the juniors, they were 1-1, with both of those matches also on clay.
Before the tournament began, they were right next to each other on the odds list with Tsitsipas at +1700 and Rublev at +2000.
They’re both at career-high rankings, too.
So why shouldn’t the odds be this close?
From the Next Gen Finals to a Masters 1000 Final 🙌
One of them will be crowned the #RolexMCMasters champ tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/NL9foD1ztv
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) April 17, 2021
Rublev is 24-4 so far in 2021, with one title. Tsitsipas is 21-5 with no titles, but a finals appearance in Acapulco.
Tsitsipas vs Rublev Previous ATP Matches
|2021||Rotterdam (Hard/SF)||6-3, 7-6 (2)||Rublev|
|2020||ATP Finals (Hard/RR)||6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (6)||Tsitsipas|
|2020||Roland Garros (Clay/QF)||7-5, 6-2, 6-3||Tsitsipas|
|2020||Hamburg (Clay/F)||6-4, 3-6, 7-5||Rublev|
|2019||US Open (Hard/R128)||6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (7), 7-5||Tsitsipas|
In Major Clay Moment, Tsitsipas Prevailed
The one key matchup that went completely Tsitsipas’ way was their quarterfinal clash at the French Open last October.
Tsitsipas won straight sets, as Rublev was competing in his first Grand Slam quarterfinal.
That was a tough loss to take, and Rublev has avenged it masterfully.
And even though it’s only been six months, the Russian is a different player now.
Rublev on a Roll
Since that defeat, he has gone 37-5.
Rublev has three titles, a final, three semifinals, an undefeated 4-0 week at the ATP Cup and a quarterfinal at the Australian Open in that span.
He has the chance to add another title on Sunday.
Tsitsipas vs Rublev Head-to-Head
|22 (Aug. 12, 1998)||Age||23 (Oct. 20, 1997)|
|Athens, Greece||Birthplace||Moscow, Russia|
|5||Career ATP Singles Titles||8|
|No. 5 (Aug. 5, 2019)||Career High Ranking||No. 8 (Aug. 19, 2020)|
|No. 5||Current Ranking||No. 8|
|$13,537,892||Career Prize Money||$7,857,428|
|21-5||2021 Won/Loss record||24-4|
|3||Career Head to Head||3|
Key for Rublev: Keeping the Calm
For Rublev, calm and kind off the court, learning to keep those on-court emotions in check has been everything.
“It’s lesson that I learned in Miami […] That’s why I lost, because of my emotions. I just keep focused. I keep staying in the match. It turned around,” he explained Saturday.
Tsitsipas is a good defender, especially for his size. But it’s not his preferred match plan.
And when Rublev is running on all cylinders, he’s powerful enough from the baseline to create openings to blast winners.
But he’s up against an opponent who is playing nearly as well as he is this year, even if Tsitsipas hasn’t been tested nearly as much this week.
While Tsitsipas has beaten just one seed, No. 16 Cristian Garin (ranked No. 24), Rublev defeated dogged No. 9 seed Roberto Bautista Agut. And then he immediately took out 11-time Monte-Carlo champion Rafael Nadal, both in three sets.
Rublev Finals Record Stellar
So far in his career, Rublev has not handled “firsts” particularly well.
His first appearance at the ATP Tour Finals last November didn’t go well. He has made the quarterfinals at the last three Grand Slam tournaments, but failed to win a set each time.
This will be his first Masters 1000 final, while it will be the third for Tsitsipas.
In Rublev’s favour? He is 8-2 in ATP Tour finals matches; Tsitsipas is a relatively pedestrian 5-8.
A three-set match (+125 at Bet 365) is a good option.
Best Bet: Rublev in three sets (+325)
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Stephanie gets the straight dope from the tennis insiders. On court, she has represented her country internationally. A BA in journalism led to years on the MLB beat and a decade covering tennis globally. She’s written for Postmedia, the Guardian, the New York Times and also publishes OpenCourt.ca.