E A massive match is to take place in the semifinals of the Adelaide International as third seed Andrey Rublev faces second seed Felix Auger-Aliassime with a spot in Saturday's championship match on the line, the winner to play either Lloyd Harris or Tommy Paul.
Rublev's road to the semifinal
Seeded third, the Russian began his campaign with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Sam Querrey in the second round after a first-round bye. That was followed up by a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win over Dan Evans to extend his winning streak to six on the 2020 season.
Auger-Aliassime's road to the semifinal
As the second seed, the Canadian also received first-round bye. He opened up his tournament with a 6-3, 7-6 (0) victory over Aussie wild card James Duckworth followed by a 6-3, 6-0 thrashing of Alex Bolt in the quarterfinals.
Rublev and Auger-Aliassime have met once before with the Russian coming out on top in the second round of Umag in 2018 by a 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-3 scoreline.
Who will win?
This is a matchup we will likely be seeing for the next decade as both players are future major champions and will likely have to go through each other to do it.
In this match, Rublev is the clear favorite. He's undefeated on the season, harnessing his huge power and playing with a great amount of control.
The key for Auger-Aliassime is to serve as he did against Bolt, where he was virtually untouchable on his delivery. While obviously taking up several steps in class, effective serving will somewhat neutralize the Russian's fearsome ground game.
This will be a close match and the winner will be heavily favored in tomorrow's final no matter who wins the other semifinal, so perhaps that will weigh on both players' minds as will the prospect of Auger-Aliassime winning a first career title.
In the end, the third seed should advance and keep his perfect start to 2020 going and establish himself as a firm darkhorse in Melbourne.
Prediction: Rublev in three sets