Just four players remain in contention for the 2020 St Petersburg Open title, this year upgraded to the ATP 500 category. Andrey Rublev takes on Denis Shapovalov, while Borna Coric will face Milos Raonic. Who will advance to the final and play for the trophy on Sunday?
ATP St Petersburg Open Semifinal Predictions
Borna Coric vs Milos Raonic
Head-to-head: Raonic 1-0
Borna Coric was the runner-up here last year and avoided a repeat of the final against Daniil Medvedev thanks to Reilly Opelka upsetting the top seed. Coric then went on to comfortably beat Opelka, despite having to break the American when he was serving for the first set. But it's Raonic, who has displayed a much better form so far in St Petersburg. After initially struggling against dangerous qualifier Jeffrey John Wolf, the Canadian saved five set points to win that match in straights. He then proceeded to do the same against Alexander Bublik and Karen Khachanov, two potentially very tricky opponents. If Raonic can stay proactive in longer rallies off the ground and limit the number of unforced errors, he should take this. The Canadian didn't play the French Open in order to have more time to prepare for the upcoming indoor season. And for all we know, this decision is paying off.
Prediction: Raonic in 3
Andrey Rublev vs Denis Shapovalov
Head-to-head: Shapovalov 2-1
This blockbuster clash might turn out very meaningful when it comes to the qualification for the 2020 ATP Finals. Andrey Rublev is currently sitting at ninth, but if everything stays the same, he would make it due to Roger Federer's absence. It's far from safe though with Berrettini, Monfils, and Denis Shapovalov sitting right behind him. If the Canadian was to win the title here, he would jump past Rublev.
There's a lot at stake here and both guys have been playing extremely high-quality tennis to get here. Rublev had a tight three-set battle with Ugo Humbert in the second round but recovered extremely well to destroy Cameron Norrie on Friday. Shapovalov is yet to lose a set and impressed with his straight-set dismissal of Stan Wawrinka. The Canadian also won their two meetings last year, both on outdoor hard courts. Indoors, their only meeting went to Rublev, who defeated Shapovalov at the 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals (in a fifth set tie-break).
All in all, it's clearly Rublev who's been the better player the whole season. The Russian improved his serve, movement, shot tolerance and added these aspects of the game to his dominant forehand. Rublev seems to be the player with the higher peak right now and one more capable of taking control in a matchup like this. His power game will need to be in great shape to win here. But it's rarely faltered recently and if he brings his best to the table, Shapovalov might struggle to respond.
Prediction: Rublev in 3
Main Photo from Getty.