Fixture: Jannik Sinner vs Vasek Pospisil
Date: 14 November 2020
Tournament: Sofia Open 2020
Venue: Sofia, Bulgaria
Category: ATP 250 Series
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: €325,615
Match timing: 3 pm local time, 6:30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel
Jannik Sinner vs Vasek Pospisil preview
Rising star Jannik Sinner has made his first ever ATP final at the Sofia Open, where he will face Canada's Vasek Pospisil. Interestingly, both players are aiming for a maiden career title on Saturday.
Although ranked No. 44 in the world currently, Sinner's level this week hasn't been far from that of a seasoned top 10 player. The teenage sensation has dropped only one set so far on his way to the final - a tiebreaker to fellow NextGen star Alex De Minaur in the quarterfinals.
After getting past De Minaur in three sets, Sinner came through a tricky test in the semifinals against France's Adrian Mannarino. Despite landing just 52% of his first serves, the young Italian never got broken; he saved all the three break points he faced. Sinner was also very clinical on the return, converting both his break point opportunities to eventually win 6-3, 7-5.
Vasek Pospisil meanwhile has had quite the year of redemption in 2020. He made the final at Montpellier in February, and backed that up with a career-best US Open result - where he reached the Round of 16.
The Canadian would love to end his 2020 season on an even bigger high, by winning the first title of his career.
Pospisil has been very impressive since eking out his first round match against Illya Marchenko in a deciding-set tie-break. In the semifinals Pospisil dropped the opening set in another close tiebreak, but managed to come back strongly. He broke Gasquet five times to win the next two sets for the loss of a mere two games.
Jannik Sinner vs Vasek Pospisil Head-to-Head
Jannik Sinner and Vasek Pospisil will meet for the first time on Saturday, so their head-to-head record currently stands at 0-0.
Jannik Sinner vs Vasek Pospisil Prediction
Jannik Sinner is playing at a very high level right now, despite his young age. The Italian's ability to play relentlessly aggressive yet consistent tennis has made many believe he is the player that the sport has been looking for.
Sinner can generate heaps of raw power off both wings, pushing his opponent onto the backfoot at will. In particular, the 19-year-old's backhand has tremendous pace and accuracy, reminiscent of Ernests Gulbis or David Nalbandian at their best.
That said, Sinner does need to improve is his stamina and physicality; he often shows signs of fatigue when a match is dragged long. That could potentially be a roadblock to his maiden title on Saturday, especially if the match is stretched to three sets.
Vasek Pospisil is exactly the kind of player who can stretch a contest to the distance, by virtue of his giant serve. The 1.94m tall Canadian has been broken only once in his last three matches, while looking in pretty good form off the ground as well.
Pospisil boasts of a big-serving and big-hitting game suited to indoor conditions, and he would fancy his chances of beating anyone right now. However, it remains to be seen how well he fares when pitted against Sinner's superior baseline consistency.
The key for the Italian would be to quickly transition from defense to offense in Pospisil's service games. Sinner would need his return game to be on point, because the Canadian is capable of taking the racket out of his opponent's hands with his serve alone.
Prediction: Jannik Sinner to win in three sets.Published 14 Nov 2020, 01:02 IST