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Tennis acca tips for Friday, March 1: Casper Ruud to win Nordic showdown in Acapulco

Planet Sport offers picks for Friday's tennis action, which will see Jack Draper in semi-final action at Acapulco, while there is also a Norwegian tussle between Casper Ruud and Holgar Rune.

Friday and early Saturday morning will see a terrific spread of top-level professional Tour tennis.

Casper Ruud's semi-final showdown with Holger Rune is a match with wider significance than a place in the event's final.

Jessica Pegula stands out as the San Diego Open favourite but faces an in-form Anna Blinkova.

Here we make our picks for the Dubai Tennis Championships semi-finals, the Mexican Open semis and the WTA 500 San Diego Open quarter-finals.


ATP Dubai: Alexander Bublik vs Andrey Rublev | Pick: Rublev

ATP Dubai: Daniil Medvedev vs Ugo Humbert | Pick: Medvedev

ATP Acapulco: Jack Draper vs Alex De Minaur | Pick: De Minaur

ATP Acapulco: Casper Ruud vs Holger Rune | Pick: Ruud

WTA San Diego: Donna Vekic vs Katie Boulter | Pick: Vekic

WTA San Diego: Daria Saville Gavrilova vs Emma Navarro | Pick: Navarro

WTA San Diego: Jessica Pegula vs Anna Blinkova | Pick: Pegula

WTA San Diego: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs Marta Kostyuk | Pick: Kostyuk


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ATP Dubai: Alexander Bublik vs Andrey Rublev

Alexander Bublik and Andrey Rublev are familiar foes having faced off in singles competition six times.

Their last meeting was a five-set epic in the last 16 at Wimbledon in 2023, which sets the bar of expectation high for this meeting of the pair.

Rublev has the edge in the rivalry winning four of the six meetings including that All England Club marathon.

Bublik hasn't needed to do a lot on return this tournament and Rublev will push him past the breaking point. 


ATP Dubai: Daniil Medvedev vs Ugo Humbert

Ugo Humbert is in rare company as a player with a superior head-to-head record with Daniil Medvedev.

However, the Russian will be motivated to defend his Dubai Tennis Championship and break a bizarre career hoodoo.

Medvedev has 20 titles to his name but has never won the same championship more than once or defended a title.

Medvedev faced Rublev in last season's final and we could see a rematch of that contest this weekend.


ATP Acapulco: Jack Draper vs Alex De Minaur

Another defending champion still in the hunt for a title this week is Alex De Minaur who faces Jack Draper in the semi-finals in Acapulco.

Draper has taken a set off De Minaur in both their meetings but the Australian leads 2-0 in the head-to-head.

De Minaur appears to thrive in Acapulco and is playing at his highest level ever.

Draper has already proven this week that he is a top player but he might come up short here.


ATP Acapulco: Casper Ruud vs Holger Rune

The all-Nordic clash between Casper Ruud and Holger Rune is set to be a fire-and-ice affair.

Ruud is chasing his first ATP 500 title and will need to live up to his iceman tag to put away fiery Rune.

Rune trails the head-to-head with Ruud winning five of their six meetings including their last meeting at the 2023 French Open.

Ruud fell just one win short of a title last week and should be able to reach another final here.


WTA San Diego: Donna Vekic vs Katie Boulter

Donna Vekic is expected to put an end to a fine run from Katie Boulter in San Diego.

Barnes Stadium will host the first meeting between these players in singles with a last-four place on the line.

Vekic has had to work hard to reach the last eight but Boulter has picked up bigger wins.

This match could be very tight but Vekic looks likely to edge it.


WTA San Diego: Daria Saville Gavrilova vs Emma Navarro

Emma Navarro has been in extraordinary form of late but meets a player of pedigree in Daria Saville Gavrilova.

Navarro beat Katerina Siniakova in her last 16 match to reach this stage of the tournament.

Gavrilova has had to battle beyond four opponents in San Diego to reach this round having come through qualifying.

This will be the first time that Navarro faces Gavrilova in singles action.


WTA San Diego: Jessica Pegula vs Anna Blinkova

Anna Blinkova has defeated former No 1 Caroline Wozniacki and Aussie Open semi-finalist Dayana Yastremska to book another blockbuster clash with Jessica Pegula.

Pegula leads the head-to-head between the two by 2-0 having won 30 games to 12 in their matches.

Pegula should be able to continue that dominance in San Diego as she looks to bounce back from a difficult start to the season.

In her first match back, Pegula blitzed past Jule Niemeier in little over an hour.


WTA San Diego: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs Marta Kostyuk

Marta Kostyuk had to retire just three games into her only meeting with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in Doha and will want to get that win back.

A semi-final place and continued progress up the rankings will also be incentives for Kostyuk.

Both players are threatening the top 20 and even at 32, Pavlyuchenkova still looks to be better than her No 25 ranking.

Kostyuk has spent more time on court this week but not enough to really impact her chances in any way.



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