First confrontation on the professional circuit between Marin Cilic and Alexei Popyrin. At the start, it was another Australian who was expected in the last four of this low part of the table, in this case John Millman, seeded N°2. But Millman failed in the quarter-finals against his compatriot Matthew Ebden, who was dominated by another Australian, Popyrin. Just like at the beginning of his season, the 21 year old of Russian origin serves steel on the Singapore courts: 34 aces in 3 matches, impressive! If he hadn't yet met the high expectations that have been placed on him since his glorious past on the junior circuit (N°2 in the world and winner of Roland Garros in 2017), Popyrin is undoubtedly taking a step forward. His success against David Goffin at the Australian Open, as well as his late defeat against Grigor Dimitrov on Melbourne soil, is proof of this. Will the 114th world champion reach his first final in the elite category? In case of victory, he would make a double blow since he would make his comeback in the top 100. This is a real possibility, even if he doesn't start as favourite (2,40) against Marin Cilic (1,60). Logical, when you know the experience of the Croatian, winner of the 2014 US Open and also a Grand Slam finalist at Wimbledon and the Australian Open. The former world No. 3 also won 8 titles on indoor hard courts (for a total of 18 trophies). Nevertheless, there is a good shot to be played for the young Australian. As we know, Cilic is not the player he used to be, he is now down to 44th place and he hasn't managed to reach a final since... 2 years and a half! Two more proofs: first of all, the Croatian started the season very badly - two defeats against Jérémy Chardy at the Great Ocean Road Open and Grigor Dimitrov at the Australian Open -, then, in Singapore, he almost went down in the quarter-finals, saving a match point in front of Soonwoo Kwon (N°81) to finally win (6-2, 2-6, 7-5). Cilic may have a glittering record of achievements, but nothing can protect him at the moment. The eye of Florent Serra : I think Alexei Popyrin is still a bit crazy. But his victory at the Australian Open against David Goffin and his course in Singapore prove that he is maybe channelling himself and becoming more regular. Obviously, the experience speaks for Marin Cilic and, given his quality of service, one can very well imagine the Croatian being easy on his stakes, especially since Popyrin is not a good restorer. But Cilic has been very inconsistent for many months: he comes out of his matches, makes woods, concedes white breaks... So, given Popyrin's odds, why not try a little something by betting on the Australian?


Alexander Bublik vs Radu Albot

With Alexander Bublik there is food and drink. Sometimes great, sometimes disappointing. In short, you never know what will happen, as if the tall Kazakh (1m96) was choosing his matches. It is probably not just an impression, and it is also a good idea to remember here that the current 46th in the world has already declared several times that "money comes before passion". Since the beginning of the year, Bublik seems to be having a lot of fun on the court: here he is in the last four for the second time this season, after Antalya, where he even reached the final, abandoning the game after 2 games, due to an ankle injury. Indoor is doing quite well for him, with a nice course in Marseille one year ago where he had beaten Shapovalov, Paire and Fucsovics. In Singapore, he confirms his good state of mind of the moment, catchy and combative: during these first two matches, he discarded all the break balls he faced, 11 in total, 2 against Altug Celikbilek (N°302) and 9 against Yoshihito Nishioka (N°61). It must be said that the Kazakh was well helped by his first service ball: 80% success over the whole of the two matches, for two convincing victories, 6-2, 6-2 against the Turkish and 6-3, 6-2 against the Japanese. Will Radu Albot manage to revive Bublik's very good serve? That is one of the essential keys to this duel. In this city-state located in South-East Asia, the Moldavians look a bit like coming back. Indeed, after having suffered in his first round against the modest Australian John-Patrick Smith (N°306), he had to discard 3 matchballs to get out of the trap of Yannick Hanfmann, 105th in the world (6-7, 7-6, 6-3). On the other hand, it was much easier in the quarter against Adrian Mannarino, defeated in two dry sets (6-3, 6-4). Like Bublik, Albot presents some indoor references with notably two semi-finals in Metz and Montpellier. Let's add that after a catastrophic start to the year 2020 (10 defeats in a row), the N°76 on the ATP has since returned to tennis, with some pretty names such as Hubert Hurkacz (Bercy), Denis Shapovalov (Sofia) and Roberto Bautista-Agut (Australian Open). In conclusion, the game looks uncertain. The eye of Florent Serra : It smells like a match hanging. Radu Albot moves very well, he is an excellent counter attacker and counter attacker, so it is quite a performance from him to have beaten Adrian Mannarino. The Moldavian also has a good hand and he isn't easy to overtake. To get the upper hand, it is better to have weapons in terms of power. This is the case of Alexander Bublik, especially in the service. The Kazakh is quite unpredictable. He works on trust. At the moment, he feels relaxed, which is a good sign for him. When he's like that, he's capable of hitting seconds at 220 km/h. I think that Bublik has the game to shorten the exchanges and not get into the mayonnaise set up by Albot. But at the slightest grain of sand, the machine can jam... For me, the Kazakh is a favourite, but his odds are really not interesting.  


Editor's note

⭐️⭐⭐️Set Popyrin ⭐️⭐️ Victory Popyrin ⭐️ Victory Popyrin 2-0


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