ATP Rotterdam second round preview: Hubert Hurkacz vs Stefanos Tsitsipas
Photo: Henk Sepper

Second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas faces off with Hubert Hurkacz in an intriguing second-round match at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.

Hurkacz got his tournament off to a good start, defeating Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 7-6 (6) to reach round two while Tsitsipas knocked out Egor Gerasimov 7-6 (4), 7-5 in his first match in Rotterdam.

This is the seventh career meeting between the two players with Tsitsipas holding a 5-1 edge, but their last four matches have gone three sets and their last meeting was at this tournament last year with the Greek winning in the first round.

Hurkacz's serve will be one of the key shots in the match/Photo: John Berry/Getty Images
Hurkacz's serve will be one of the key shots in the match/Photo: John Berry/Getty Images

The match will be the third on Centre Court during the day session with the winner advancing to the quarterfinals to face Russian Karen Khachanov.

Assessment

Hurkacz has a lot of power and can use it to great effect. At 6'5", he also employs an effective serve and will look to win as many free points as he can against Tsitsipas, who will want to dictate the rallies with his backhand.

The Pole is a flat ball hitter, so there's very little margin on his shots, which means he is prone to making a lot of unforced errors. The Greek will want to engage in a lot of long rallies while trying to push Hurkacz off of the baseline.

Tsitsipas' backhand might be the best shot on the court/Photo: Dean Mahtoropoulos/Getty Images
Tsitsipas' backhand might be the best shot on the court/Photo: Dean Mahtoropoulos/Getty Images

Whoever controls the baseline figures to have the upper hand with Hurkacz's serve the key for him while Tsitsipas will want to protect his forehand by staying on the backhand side.

Analysis

The reason this matchup tends to go to three sets often is the power of Hurkacz. He's able to reign in his power and his groundstrokes are precise and deep in the court. However, Tsitsipas is often able to extract errors from the Pole in the crucial moments.

The court is playing slow in Rotterdam this week, so that should favor the second seed as that will neutralize some of the pace Hurkacz gets on his shots. Expect a similar match to last year's with Tsitispas likely emerging in another close battle.

Prediction: Stefanos Tsitsipas in three sets

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