NextGen ATP Finals preview and prediction: Rublev vs. Chung

Andrey Rublev and Hyeon Chung will battle for the first-ever title of the NextGen ATP Finals in Milan when they square off for the second time this week on Saturday night.

On the second day of round-robin action, Chung improved to 2-0 in Group A with a 4-0, 4-1, 4-3(1) victory over Rublev. They previously faced each other once on the main tour this season, with the South Korean also getting the job done 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 on the hard courts of Winston-Salem.

Chung is undefeated so far at this inaugural end-of-year event. In addition to his defeat of Rublev, the world No. 54 opened by beating Denis Shapovalov 1-4, 4-3(5), 4-3(4), 4-1 and wrapped up round-robin competition with a 1-4, 4-1, 4-2, 3-4(6), 4-3(3) win over Gianluigi Quinzi. Chung went on to eliminate Daniil Medvedev 4-1, 4-1, 3-4(4), 1-4, 4-0 in Friday’s second semifinal. During the regular ATP campaign, Chung earned 24 of his 46 career match victories and he advanced at least one round at each of his last six tournaments.

Rublev soared to the cusp of Australian Open seeding at 37th in the rankings thanks primarily to his first career title in Umag and a quarterfinal performance at the U.S. Open. The 20-year-old Russian owns wins in Milan at the expense of Quinzi (five sets), Shapovalov (four sets), and Borna Coric (4-1, 4-3(6), 4-1 in the semis). Interestingly, Rublev could capture two titles this season–Milan included–while losing a match at each of those events. He won Umag as a lucky loser.

With Rublev having picked up the pace since his Wednesday loss to Chung, the second go-around should be more competitive. But Chung has been the most consistent of the youngsters all week and he will likely lift a well-deserved winner’s trophy.

Pick: Chung in 5

15 Comments on NextGen ATP Finals preview and prediction: Rublev vs. Chung

      I got H. Chung 2 yrs ago, lol!

      This match will be tough because the met in the group stage and A. Rublev didn’t win a set, this one will be competitive.

      Hyeon Chung will win but I won’t be too surprised if he doesn’t.
      It is hard to defeat a good player twice in a short period of time and Andrey Rublev is not a bad baller, if this was Roger Federer vs R. Nadal/others it would be different because we all know who Roger Federer is, he makes it look easy against anyone especially if he is fit and if it’s Rafa in the finals.

      If I bet on this match, it would be H. Chung, but there might be other matches that are less complicated, A. Rublev has picked up form but I think he would lose.

      If I pick Hyeon Chung to win, it won’t be a lot of money and I won’t put half my rent on him.


      H. Chung will win but half your rent is too risky, where will you sleep if….Chung loses?

    • Lol!
      Please be careful.

      If you have the money to bet go ahead but if it stops you from fulfilling an important obligation, a necessity don’t do it except if you see the future or if you are betting that R. Federer will defeat R. Nadal ten times in a roll then do it.

  1. It’s gonna be a tough match for both guys, especially for Rublev, as I think Chung is not a good match up for him.
    Rublev is a heavy hiter, who crush every short/no pace balls that you give him(that’s why Coric lost to him yesterday).
    With Chung baseline variety, placing the balls in the corners and disrupting his rhythm with slices, I believe Chung will have the upper hand in the baseline exchanges, leading Rublev to make errors and counterpunching him well.
    If the Russian appears in red hot form, we can have a great match for sure.
    Rooting for Chung to win it all 😛

    • Oh Lucky, if Chung was able to have half the success Novak had in his career, he would have a great career imo.
      However, if he keeps making steady progress like he’s been until now, I definitely see him as a future top 5 player and a GS winner(multiple possibly).
      For Coric, things are a bit diferent. He has a really good backhand, but his forehand his just an average stroke. If he doesn’t change that stroke, I feel that he’s never going to fulfill his potential, which would be a shame.

  2. After Rafa, Djoko and Murray the great counterpunchers are gone from the tour, it’s good to see that we have Chung and Coric as next gen’s counterpunchers to counter the big serving and hard hitting next gen guys.

    They will not be as great as Rafa and Djoko (I’ve no doubt about that) but who knows they may be as good as Murray career wise ( though they do not have Murray’s deft touches and creativity).

    What do you think about the rest : Shapo, Rublev, Khachanov, Medvedev and Donaldson? Who do you think they or their game resemble?

    • It’s really hard to analyze Murray’s career, given that he played in one of the strongest eras in men’s tennis. In another era, he would definitely won more slams, that’s for sure, but right now, it’s hard to even classify him as an ATG.
      Well, here’s my take about the next gen guys you mentioned:
      Shapovalov-has an agressive all court game, huge serve(very tricky, similar to McEnroe) and a huge backhand(very dangerous when he’s able to flatten it out, reminds me a bit of Federer backhand). His forehand needs work(similarities with Davydenko), as it’s kind of loopy sometimes, as well as his net game(his volleys mainly) and his ROS(worst parameter of his game right now). I really aprecciate his on court attitude, reminiscences from young Rafa 😊;
      Rublev-A follower of Safin’s school. His forehand looks to have the potential to become a massive weapon, and his backhand is solid enough.He has a very good serve and reasonable net skills. Should improve on athletic abilities.
      Khachanov-He’s also a follower of Safin’s school, has big ground strokes(big forehand, sometimes reminding me a bit of Delpo) but seems a bit unidimensional on his game. If he faces a godd junkballer or someone who’s able to put him off balance, he starts making many errors, his game starts to implode and he loses the focus on the match. Maybe he should change his racquet or work on his groundstrokes drills. He also should improve his second serve, it’s pretty much a hole on his game.
      Medvedev-When he’s on, he’s able to fire winners off both wings, play at an extremely fast pace, has a good touch on volleys and dropshots. He needs serious improve on his fitness condition, as he cramps very often as matches go to distance or facing players that make him run a lot.
      Donaldson-I just watched him played once (Us Open 2014 against Monfils) and at the time had lot of potential to develop and very strong groundstrokes for his age. Right now, I don’t really now, where is game is at, as I don’t really follow him.

      Summing up, all the guys obviously need to work in order to get a consistent game to reach the top. From this list, I think we can surely expect big things from Shapovalov and especially Rublev.

      Now that you brought Murray into the discussion, I’ve a question for you also: in your point of view, which is ,overall, the better player, Wawrinka or Murray?

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