Thursday at the 2020 St Petersburg Open will feature the six remaining second-round matches. In one of the blockbusters, Karen Khachanov will take on the recent ATP Challenger Tour star Aslan Karatsev. We also have predictions for the rest of Day 4 matches, including Daniil Medvedev vs Reilly Opelka. Who will confirm their first-round win with another solid performance and whose level will not last?
Roman Safiullin vs Borna Coric
Head-to-head: First meeting
Roman Safiullin got his first tour-level win on Wednesday, but it will be a much tougher task to keep going. The Russian defeated lucky loser Emilio Gomez and will now face Borna Coric, seeded seventh. The Croat can often struggle with generating pace by himself especially off his forehand. But that shot really stood the test against Feliciano Lopez and Safiullin is probably going to play more into what Coric wants. Expect the seed to advance.
Prediction: Coric in 2
Ilya Ivashka vs Denis Shapovalov
Head-to-head: Shapovalov 1-0
Ilya Ivashka made headlines for all the wrong reasons on Tuesday, after getting a game penalty when he really extended an emergency bathroom break. He stayed cool though and managed to hold his nerve and still take down Adrian Mannarino in straight sets. It was a very erratic performance from his French rival and he’s unlikely to get such help here. Denis Shapovalov likes indoor conditions too and he’s on an upward trajectory to a point where it seems the only thinking keeping him down is the mentality. But most of his recent performances screamed of emotional maturity and he should continue to cruise here.
Prediction: Shapovalov in 2
Karen Khachanov vs Aslan Karatsev
Head-to-head: Khachanov 2-1
Aslan Karatsev is playing the best tennis of his life right now and although his performance to beat Tennys Sandgren was pretty up and down, the Russian was able to raise his level when it was required most. It was only his 2nd tour-level win but if he keeps that up, many more will come. Seeded 4th, Karen Khachanov excels in slow indoor conditions (one example, his title run at Bercy). This should be a very high-quality match but at this point in time, Khachanov is probably just too much of a step up in quality for his compatriot. Their head-to-head meetings were played too long ago to be relevant for today’s match.
Prediction: Khachanov in 3
Main Photo from Getty.