Fixture: Denis Shapovalov vs Guido Pella
Date: 15 September 2020
Tournament: Italian Open 2020
Round: First round (Round of 64)
Venue: Rome, Italy
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €3,465,045
Match timing: 2.30 pm CEST, 6 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN | India - Sony Six
Denis Shapovalov vs Guido Pella preview
World No. 14 Denis Shapovalov begins his claycourt campaign as he takes on Argentina's Guido Pella in the opening round of the 2020 Italian Open on Tuesday.
Shapovalov reached the quarterfinals at the 2020 US Open a week ago, registering good wins over David Goffin and Taylor Fritz along the way. The 21-year old, who has had an up-and-down season for most of 2020, will be carrying a rich vein of form from his exploits at Flushing Meadows.
The young gun has been playing some composed tennis over the last month, hitting his groundstrokes with surprising consistency. Shapovalov has also been on song with his serve; he unleashed a barrage of aces in his last three matches at the New York Slam.
The Canadian will now face World No. 37 Guido Pella, who has had a tumultuous season himself. After a six-month break owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, Guido Pella was supposed to make his return at the Cincinnati Masters. However, the Argentine was controversially ousted from the tournament and asked to go into self-quarantine after a member of his coaching team tested positive for coronavirus.
The Argentinian did not test positive for the virus himself, yet was not allowed to compete in the tournament. And at the US Open, Pella was not allowed to train much owing to the COVID-19 scare.
He would end up losing to J.J Wolf in the first round - in what was Wolf's first Slam match ever.
Before the COVID-19 controversy Pella was not in good form either. The Argentinian had lost in the early rounds of claycourt tournaments at Cordoba, Rio and Buenos Aires.
Denis Shapovalov vs Guido Pella head-to-head
The first round match in Rome will be the first-ever career meeting between Denis Shapovalov and Guido Pella, so the head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Denis Shapovalov vs Guido Pella prediction
Denis Shapovalov has always had the shot-making ability, but it is his shot selection and consistency that have let him down in the past. At the US Open, the Canadian seemed to turn a page in his young career as he played mature tennis without succumbing to the tendency of committing unforced errors.
The World No. 14 was solid from the baseline, not being afraid to rally, before unleashing his kill shot when he got an opening.
Guido Pella does not have the flair of his young opponent, but is steady enough to stand his own ground on the slow clay of Rome. The Argentine is solid from both wings, and a left-hander like Shapovalov, so the Canadian's angles won't be a big problem for him.
However, Pella's relatively simple game will be under constant attack from Shapovalov's arsenal even on clay. If the Argentine is not sharp in the early going, he might face an uphill struggle throughout the match.
Prediction: Denis Shapovalov to win in straight sets.Published 15 Sep 2020, 00:20 IST