Czech Players Prove to be Rublev's Kryptonite

Czech Players Prove to be Rublev’s Kryptonite

Andrey Rublev’s recent struggles against Czech players have raised questions about his vulnerability to their style of play. The world No. 6 has now lost to the top three Czech players in the past month, including Tomas Machac’s 6-4, 6-4 victory in the second round of the Miami Open.

Machac, who is ranked No. 60, credited his compatriot Jakub Mensik for providing him with valuable insights into Rublev’s game. “I asked Jakub Mensik. He gave me some information, so it’s great that we have a good relationship,” Machac said. “It helps for sure that we can beat these kind of players and help ourselves to get advice on everything.”

Machac’s victory over Rublev was particularly impressive given the challenging conditions on Friday, which were plagued by wind and rain. The 23-year-old won more baseline points than Rublev and produced more winners off the ground. He also made the most of a single break in each set to advance after 65 minutes.

Rublev’s defeat to Machac followed recent losses to Czech No. 1 Jiri Lehecka in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open and rising teenager Mensik in the Doha quarterfinals. These results suggest that Rublev may have a specific weakness against the Czech players’ aggressive baseline style and ability to generate winners from the ground.

It remains to be seen whether Rublev can find a way to overcome this challenge. He will have the opportunity to defend his Monte Carlo title in April, where he will likely face another tough test against the top players on the ATP Tour.

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