ATP St Petersburg Day 2 Predictions Including Taylor Fritz vs Emil Ruusuvuori

Emil Ruusuvuori in action ahead of the ATP St Petersburg Open.

Although the ATP season is fast approaching its conclusion, there is still plenty on the line for the field at the ATP St Petersburg Open with valuable points up for grabs in the Race to Turin. There are seven first-round matches on the slate on day two in Russia’s second city and, as ever, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match, including Egor Gerasimov vs Mackenzie McDonald. But who will book their place in the second round?

ATP St Petersburg Day 2 Predictions

Laslo Djere vs Ilya Ivashka

Head-to-head: Ivashka 1-0 Djere

It has been, for the most part, an excellent season for Ilya Ivashka and certainly the best of his career so far. He has won 29 matches at tour-level and reached the second week at a Major for the first time at Wimbledon and won his first ATP title in Winston-Salem, thrashing Mikael Ymer in the final for the loss of only two games. Laslo Djere, in contrast, has posted solid but not spectacular results, though he did enjoy some good weeks on the clay, reaching the final in Sardinia and the last four in Hamburg and Kitzbuhel.

The problem for the Serbian has been winning matches consistently away from the ‘terre battue’. The grinding defence and consistent groundstrokes that serve him well on the clay aren’t nearly as effective in faster conditions and his approach is too often too conservative. Against a player in Ivashka who is never afraid to tee-off and is surely full of confidence, Djere will need to take more risks to stand a chance. But it’s not an approach he is comfortable with, which does not inspire much confidence in his chances here.

Prediction: Ivashka in 2
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Yoshihito Nishioka vs Botic van de Zandschulp

Head-to-head: first meeting

Although this may not be one of the headline clashes on day two at the ATP St Petersburg Open, it should be an entertaining match. Yoshihito Nishioka has not perhaps fulfilled the promise he showed early in his career, with injury problems not helping his cause, but he has established himself as a tour-level regular and at only 26, there is still scope for him to improve. Regardless, he should come into this match feeling confident after solid wins over Roman Safiullin and Miomir Kecmanovic in the qualifying.

Botic van de Zandschulp, meanwhile, put together a thrilling run at the US Open to come through the qualifying to reach the quarterfinals, where he became the only man to take a set off eventual champion Daniil Medvedev. He hasn’t managed to replicate that level in the weeks since, but he has played some solid tennis, coming through the qualifying in Indian Wells and again this week in St Petersburg. The relatively fast indoor conditions might just favour his opponent more, however. This should be a close contest, but expect Nishioka to have just about enough.

Prediction: Nishioka in 3
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Taylor Fritz v Emil Ruusuvuori

Head-to-head: first meeting

Taylor Fritz is another player who has not yet fulfilled his potential, but the American did play some excellent tennis on home turf in Indian Wells, reaching the semifinals courtesy of some memorable wins, including over Matteo Berrettini, Jannik Sinner and Alexander Zverev. He has not played since, however, so he may have to contend with a degree of ring rust as well as a significant change in the conditions, with the indoor courts in St Petersburg playing faster than those in California.

Fritz has also not been handed the easiest first-round draw. Emil Ruusuvuori is still adjusting to life in the professional ranks, but there is rightly confidence that the Finn has a bright future in the game. He will also have the advantage of having acclimatised to the conditions in St Petersburg after coming through the qualifying with wins over Gilles Simon and Dmitry Popko. Still, if Fritz can maintain the level he displayed in Indian Wells, he should have the beating of the Finn.

Prediction: Fritz in 3

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