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St. Petersburg Open 2020: Milos Raonic vs J.J. Wolf preview, head-to-head & prediction

Milos Raonic at the Western & Southern Open 2020
Milos Raonic at the Western & Southern Open 2020
Namit Kumar
ANALYST
Modified 12 Oct 2020, 23:14 IST
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Match details

Fixture: Milos Raonic vs J.J. Wolf

Date: 13 October 2020

Tournament: St. Petersburg Open 2020

Round: First round (Round of 32)

Venue: St. Petersburg, Russia

Category: ATP 500 Series

Surface: Indoor hardcourt

Prize money: USD 1,243,790

Match Timing: Approx. 3 pm MST, 5.30 pm IST

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Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony Six

Milos Raonic vs J.J. Wolf preview

Sixth seed Milos Raonic takes on American qualifier J.J. Wolf in the first round of the St. Petersburg Open on Tuesday.

Raonic has had a solid 2020 so far, even if it is not studded with titles or high-profile wins. The Canadian reached the quarterfinal of the Australian Open, and had an excellent runner-up showing at the Cincinnati Masters right after the resumption of the tour.

The 29-year-old defeated the likes of Andy Murray and Stefanos Tsitsipas on his way to the final, before coming up short against Novak Djokovic.

That said, Raonic has been well below par in all his tournaments since. The Canadian crashed out in the second round of the US Open against compatriot Vasek Pospisil. He lost his early round encounter with Dusan Lajovic in Rome as well, before withdrawing from the French Open.

Raonic opens his St. Petersburg campaign against J.J. Wolf, a player who has shone on the Challenger tour but is yet to make a mark on the senior tour. 

J.J. Wolf at the 2020 US Open
J.J. Wolf at the 2020 US Open
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Wolf did, however, have a decent run at the US Open, where he reached the third round. The American comes into the match against Raonic after having won his qualifier against Alexey Vatutin without too many problems.

Milos Raonic vs J.J. Wolf head-to-head

The match in St. Petersburg is the first between Milos Roanic and J.J. Wolf on tour, so their head-to-head stands at 0-0. Raonic is ranked 21st in the world currently, while Wolf sees himself much lower at #123.

Milos Raonic vs J.J. Wolf prediction

Milos Raonic at the Internazionali BNL D
Milos Raonic at the Internazionali BNL D'Italia 2020

Milos Raonic comes into the match against J.J. Wolf in St. Petersburg as the overwhelming favorite, and it is easy to see why. The Canadian's trademark serve - which was on full display in New York - is a big asset on any court, but on the hardcourts it gives him even more of an edge.

Wolf has a pretty solid serve himself, but it is nowhere near the level of Raonic's. To stand a chance against the Canadian, Wolf will have to be super-aggressive off the ground and take the ball early.

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Unless fitness - which could have possibly led to his Roland Garros withdrawal - becomes an issue, there is little reason why Raonic should not get past Wolf and into the next round of the tournament.

Prediction: Milos Raonic to win in straight sets.

Published 12 Oct 2020, 23:13 IST
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