Daniil Medvedev will be keen on getting his season underway with a title in 2020, something that has alluded him in first few weeks of the new season.
That, however, will not come easy for the Russian, who is set to play Next Gen star and an extremely tough oppenent, Jannik Sinner in the second round of the 2020 Open 13.
Medvedev's own form isn't going to help matters as despite a few good wins in the beginning of the year, the Russian seems to have lost the script.
Sinner, for one, has been on fire ascent himself. After a great showing at the Next Gen ATP Finals, he has made steady progress on the senior circuit. His exploits in Rotterdam saw him have his first win over a top-10 opponent, David Goffin.
And to score a second big win in as many weeks will really see the 18-year-old announce his arrival on the tour. All said, beating Medvedev on a hardcourt remains a tough ask.
Even with his huge groundstrokes, the kind that he can hit from any court position, off both wings no less, Sinner will have to find something special to get over his senior opponent.
The one thing that might help him in Thursday's match will be his solid serving skills, that he will need to keep in touch with Medvedev, who is himself developing into a great server.
Sinner's nimble footwork would also assist him in staying in rallies against a steely Medvedev. The Russian is rarely the aggressor from the baseline and prefers to wait for an error from the oppenent. It then becomes important for players to stay patient against him and wait for the right ball to fire.
Sinner has a few qualities that make him an ideal fit to upset Medvedev on a given day. But for that to happen, a lot of the elements of the young Italian's game will have to come together on the right time.
Prediction: Medvedev to win in three setsPublished 20 Feb 2020, 18:17 IST