Fixture: Denis Shapovalov vs Pedro Martinez
Date: 17 September 2020
Tournament: Italian Open 2020
Round: Second round (Round of 32)
Venue: Rome, Italy
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €3,465,045
Match timing: 11 am CEST, 2.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN | India - Sony Six
Denis Shapovalov vs Pedro Martinez preview
World No. 14 Denis Shapovalov will be looking to carry his hardcourt form on to the slow clay of Rome, as he takes on Spain's Pedro Martinez in the second round of the 2020 Italian Open on Thursday.
The 21-year-old had had an up-and-down season prior to the lockdown, but was able to turn his fortunes around in New York with a quarterfinal showing at the 2020 US Open. Under the tutelage of former player Mikhail Youzhny, Shapovalov has played some spirited tennis over the last few weeks.
The transition from hardcourt to slow clay is never easy, but Shapovalov didn't face much of resistance from Guido Pella in his opening match at Rome. The Canadian showed some all-court prowess and clinical returning en route a straight-sets victory over his Argentine opponent.
World No. 109 Pedro Martinez will the clear underdog when he takes on the 2020 USO quarterfinalist for a place in the Round of 16 at Rome. However, that does not take away anything from the Spaniard's career-best season in 2020.
The 23-year-old was mainly a Challenger player for most of his young career before this season. However, after clinching a maiden Slam win at the Australian Open, Martinez has won his first-ever Masters 1000 level match in Rome two days ago.
The Spaniard took down the big-serving Sam Querrey in the first round on Tuesday, and will be eager to build on that result.
Denis Shapovalov vs Pedro Martinez head-to-head
The first round match in Rome will be the first-ever career meeting between Denis Shapovalov and Pedro Martinez, so the head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Denis Shapovalov vs Pedro Martinez prediction
Denis Shapovalov has been solid from the baseline in 2020, not being afraid to rally with his opponents and wait patiently for an opening. But the World No. 14 can strike ferocious groundstrokes off both wings, and his raw power has previously helped him reach the semifinals of a claycourt Masters - at Madrid 2018.
On the other hand, Pedro Martinez has no such experience at the big events despite being older than his Canadian opponent. The Spaniard is impressive when it comes to his court coverage, but does not have too many weapons to threaten Shapovalov with.
Prediction: Denis Shapovalov to win in straight sets.Published 17 Sep 2020, 00:34 IST