ATP St Petersburg Open Day 2 Predictions Including J.J. Wolf vs Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic in action ahead of the ATP St Petersburg Open

On day two at the ATP St Petersburg Open, there should be plenty of entertaining tennis, with a number of seeds set to get their campaigns underway. As ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the slate including Andrey Rublev vs Vasek Pospisil. But who will book their place in the second round in St Petersburg?

ATP St Petersburg Open Day Two Predictions

Adrian Mannarino vs Ilya Ivashka

Head-to-head: Mannarino 1-0 Ivashka

Unsurprisingly, the clay-court season wasn’t particularly successful for Adrian Mannarino. But the flat groundstrokes that served him poorly on the red dirt, should stand him in better stead at the ATP St Petersburg Open. Particularly as they are complimented by a very good tennis acumen. Indeed, he has twice reached the final at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, with the conditions in the Russian capital similar to those found in St Petersburg.

That said, he faces a tough first-round test in the shape of Ilya Ivashka, who qualified into the main draw in great style with straight-sets wins over Max Purcell and Viktor Troicki. But Mannarino will pose the Belarusian a very different challenge. Mannarino gives him opponents very little pace to work with and his groundstrokes tend to skid through the court, particularly off the forehand side. That should see him well-suited to disrupt Ivashka, who is something of a linear hitter.

Prediction: Mannarino in 3
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Mikhail Kukushkin vs Miomir Kecmanovic

Head-to-head: Kukushkin 1-0 Kecmanovic

Another flat-hitter, albeit one with more power than Mannarino, who should thrive in these conditions is Mikhail Kukushkin. The Kazakh won his only tour-level title here a decade ago and whilst that triumph was a long time ago now, he continues to play his best tennis indoors. Miomir Kecmanovic, meanwhile, recently won his first ATP title on the clay in Kitzbuhel, but he has not won a match since, losing in the first round in Rome and Paris.

That is a poor return for a player of his talents, with inconsistency a continuing problem for the Serbian, and he will be targeting a return to form in St Petersburg. He may not mange it however. This promises to be a close contest, with extended baseline exchanges likely to be the order of the day. But Kukushkin will have fond memories of playing at the ATP St Petersburg Open. Expect the former champion to recapture some of the old magic and edge out Kecmanovic.

Prediction: Kukushkin in 3
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J.J. Wolf vs Milos Raonic

Head-to-head: first meeting

The 21-year-old J.J. Wolf has been rising rapidly in the ATP rankings lately after a distinguished college career and he looks ready to make an impact on the main tour. His level in the qualifying in St Petersburg was a little erratic, but he did do well to rally from a set down in his wins over Alexey Vatutin and Alen Avidzba. The reward for his efforts is what looks like a brutal first-round draw on paper, with Wolf facing sixth seed Milos Raonic.

The Canadian, who has had more than his fair share of injury problems in recent years, appears to have benefitted from the long break in the season and played some excellent tennis in North America. He pulled out of the French Open to focus on the indoor season and should be well-prepared and hungry to compete again. Wolf does have a big game, but it is hard to see him executing consistently enough to really trouble a player of Raonic’s quality.

Prediction: Raonic in 2

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