Fixture: Denis Shapovalov vs Viktor Troicki*
Date: 14 October 2020
Tournament: St. Petersburg Open 2020
Round: First round (Round of 32)
Venue: St. Petersburg, Russia
Category: ATP 500
Surface: Indoor Hardcourt
Prize money: USD $1,243,790
Match timing: 1 pm Moscow Standard Time, 3.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | India - Sony Six | Europe - Eurosport
*Note: An earlier version of this article stated that Denis Shapovalov would be playing Sam Querrey in the first round. However, Querrey has now withdrawn from the tournament and he has been replaced by Viktor Troicki in the draw.
Denis Shapovalov vs Viktor Troicki preview
Denis Shapovalov will look to continue his upward climb as he takes on Serbia's Viktor Troicki in his opening match at St. Petersburg on Wednesday.
After a disappointing run of results prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shapovalov put his head down and worked tirelessly with his coach Mikhail Youzhny during the break. The hard work paid off for the 21-year-old, as he produced a career-best result at the US Open - where he reached the last eight.
The Canadian followed that up with a semifinal appearance at the Italian Open, which helped him beak into the top 10 for the first time in his young career.
Shapovalov had seemed primed for a deep run at Roland Garros, but he suffered a heartbreaking loss to World No. 101 Roberto Carballes Baena in the second round. Shapovalov served for the match twice in the deciding set, before losing it 8-6.
The 21-year-old now takes on World No. 197 Viktor Troicki, who has fallen way down the pecking order in recent times owing to injury and poor form.
Troicki has won just one main-draw tour-level match all year, at the Maharashtra Open in Pune. Even at the Challenger level he hasn't had much success; the only time Troicki made news in 2020 was when he tested positive for COVID-19 at Novak Djokovic's Adria Tour.
Troicki might, however, find some joy on the indoor hardcourts of St. Petersburg, where his quick-strike game would be effective.
Denis Shapovalov vs Viktor Troicki head-to-head
The head-to-head between Denis Shapovalov and Viktor Troicki is currently tied at 1-1. Both of their previous matches were three-setters; Troicki won the first one at the 2017 Shanghai Masters, while Shapovalov returned the favor at the 2018 Miami Masters.
Denis Shapovalov vs Viktor Troicki prediction
Under the tutelage of Mikhail Youzhny, Denis Shapovalov has become a much more composed player than he used to be.
The Canadian has always had tremendous shot-making ability, but it was his shot selection that frequently let him down in the past. Youzhny has helped change that, getting him to stay patient in rallies and construct points smartly to gain an edge over his opponents.
That said, Shapovalov would be keen to unleash his one-two punch style of play on the fast indoor courts of St. Petersburg.
His opponent Viktor Troicki hits a big ball off both wings too, but Shapovalov can do that a lot more consistently. Moreover, the Serb's lack of match fitness could hurt his movement and defense - something that the 'Shapo Train' will be looking to exploit.
Prediction: Denis Shapovalov to win in straight sets.Published 11 Oct 2020, 16:43 IST