Fixture: Andrey Rublev vs Denis Shapovalov
Date: 17 October 2020
Tournament: St. Petersburg Open 2020
Venue: St. Petersburg, Russia
Category: ATP 500
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: $1,243,790
Match timing: 2 pm Moscow Standard Time, 4.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony Six
Andrey Rublev vs Denis Shapovalov preview
Andrey Rublev, the third seed at St. Petersburg, had an excellent couple of weeks leading up to the tournament. He won his maiden ATP 500 title in Hamburg in September, before making his third Grand Slam quarterfinal at Roland Garros.
Rublev has been in good form in St. Petersburg, losing just one set across three matches. He clinched a straight-sets victory over Vasek Pospisil in the first round, before facing his toughest test of the tournament against Ugo Humbert.
The Russian lost the first set against Humbert but came back strongly to win 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.
Rublev was at his best in the quarterfinal against Cameron Norrie, where he won 6-2, 6-1 without dropping serve even once.
Denis Shapovalov, the second seed at St. Petersburg, has also been in decent form since the resumption of tennis. The Canadian made the quarterfinal at the US Open and the semifinal at the Rome Masters, before bowing out of Roland Garros in the second round.
Shapovalov has been in excellent form in Russia this week, winning all three of his matches in straight sets.
He ran past Serbia's Viktor Troicki with a 6-2, 6-3 win in the first round, without facing a break point. The 21-year-old was just as clinical against Ilya Ivashka next, downing the Belarusian with a 6-1, 6-4 scoreline.
Shapovalov was excellent against the experienced Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinal too, clinching a professional 6-4, 7-5 win.
Andrey Rublev vs Denis Shapovalov head-to-head
Andrey Rublev and Denis Shapovalov have faced off thrice on the tour so far, with the Canadian leading the head-to-head 2-1.
The maiden encounter between the pair was at the Next Gen ATP Finals in 2017. It was a marathon fixture, which Rublev won after five intense sets.
The duo met twice in 2019 after that - in the Round of 32 at Miami and in the quarterfinals at Winston-Salem. Shapovalov won in straight sets on both occasions.
Notably, all three matches between the pair have been played on hardcourt.
Andrey Rublev vs Denis Shapovalov prediction
Andrey Rublev, with his powerful forehand and accurate two-handed backhand, is an excellent baseliner. The Russian has an offensive approach to the game and likes to take the attack to the opposition.
While Denis Shapovalov leads the head-to-head, Rublev has a 1-0 record over the Canadian in indoor hardcourt encounters.
Shapovalov, however, looks difficult to beat at the moment. The youngster has been in solid form all week, to say the least.
He has a powerful and accurate serve, which has already resulted in 25 aces in the tournament so far. Like Rublev, the Canadian also has an explosive forehand, and is likely rely on that wing extensively in the semifinal.
Prediction: Denis Shapovalov to win in three sets.Published 16 Oct 2020, 22:13 IST