ATP Cup Day One Predictions Including Denis Shapovalov vs Stefanos Tsitsipas

Denis Shapovalov ATP Cup Day One

The 2020 ATP season will begin with the inaugural ATP Cup. One of the initiatives of the now-departed Chris Kermode, the ATP Cup will follow a similar format to the revamped Davis Cup Finals, with some of the world’s best players competing on behalf of their countries as they vie for the first ATP Cup. Day one features no shortage of exciting talent, with three top ten stars amongst those in action and as ever we here at LWOT are offering our predictions for as many matches as possible including Nick Kyrgios’ battle with Jan-Lennard Struff. But who will earn their team a precious win?

ATP Cup Day One Predictions

Dan Evans vs Grigor Dimitrov

Head-to-head: Dimitrov 2-1 Evans

Grigor Dimitrov for the most part endured an extremely disappointing 2019 campaign. But the Bulgarian star rallied late on in the year, reaching semifinals at the US Open and the Paris Masters to catapult his ranking back inside the world’s top 20. The 28-year-old will surely now be looking to carry that positive momentum forward into the early months of 2020, with Australia having proven a happy hunting ground for him in the past.

Dan Evans, in contrast, did not enjoy such spectacular successes, but did put together a more consistent year than Dimitrov. He played particularly well on home turf during the grass-court swing and backed that up with some good results during the North American summer hard-court swing. That saw him finish the year as the top-ranked Briton for the first-time in his career and he will surely be eager to improve on those good results in 2020.

And Evans may well feel confident about his chances heading into this match. Although he trails Dimitrov in their head-to-head, losing his most recent meeting with the Bulgarian in Chengdu last season, his fine touch, particularly in the forecourt, could cause Dimitrov problems. Both men are fine exponents of the sliced backhand, but it is Evans who is more proficient with that shot and if he can stop Dimitrov dictating with his forehand, he could well edge this one.

Prediction: Evans in 3
Embed from Getty Images

Daniil Medvedev vs Fabio Fognini

Head-to-head: Medvedev 2-1 Fognini

Fabio Fognini is not one of the tour’s most consistent performers, with an occasionally lacklustre attitude holding him back. But he has generally played well when representing his country and will surely be eager to get his 2020 season off to a good start. Daniil Medvedev, meanwhile, saw his 2020 campaign end with a disappointing patch of form. But that did little to take the shine off a superb season, in which he won two Masters titles and reached the US Open final.

Indeed, it seems more than likely that his dip in form towards the end of the year was the result of fatigue having played so much tennis post-Wimbledon. Refreshed after the off-season, expect the Russian to be back to his best in Perth. Which, thanks to his excellent court-coverage, world-class backhand and deceptively effective serve, will make him a testing proposition for even the very best in the world. On the medium-pace hard courts in Perth, expect him to prove too strong for Fognini.

Prediction: Medvedev in 2
Embed from Getty Images

Alexander Zverev vs Alex De Minaur 

Head-to-head: Zverev 4-0 De Minaur

Alexander Zverev clearly enjoys playing against fellow young gun Alex De Minaur. The Australian has not taken a set off Zverev in any of their last three encounters and is still searching for his first win against the world #7. However, De Minaur has played well in Australia in the past, winning the title at the Sydney International last season having reached the final at the same event in 2018. He can also expect to enjoy the lion’s share of support from the crowd.

He may also take confidence from the fact that Zverev endured a rather disappointing 2019, although he did win through to the last four at the ATP Finals in his last outing of the regular season. And concerningly for De Minaur, he will still be unable to match the German’s power from the back of the court. Though he moves well and rarely misses, expect De Minaur once again to fail to contain the big-hitting Zverev.

Prediction: Zverev in 2
Embed from Getty Images

Denis Shapovalov vs Stefanos Tsitsipas

Head-to-head: Shapovalov 2-1 Tsitsipas

This pair last clashed at the 2019 Miami Open with the Canadian edging through in a tough three-setter in the fourth round. Another close match looks to be in the offing again at the ATP Cup, with both men finishing their 2019 campaigns in impressive fashion. Stefanos Tsitsipas won the biggest title of his career to date, edging out Dominic Thiem to win the title at the ATP Finals. Denis Shapovalov, meanwhile, reached his first Masters 1000 final in Paris before leading Canada to the Davis Cup final in Madrid.

Nonetheless, it is Tsitsipas who has played the better tennis in Australia, reaching the semifinals at Melbourne Park last season and he is ranked nine places above Shapovalov for a reason. The Canadian has improved significantly under the tutelage of former-world #8 Mikhail Youzhny and looks set for a fine 2020 season. But Tsitsipas looks to be a little way further along in his development and that should prove the difference in their ATP Cup opener, although don’t expect Tsitsipas to have it all his own way.

Prediction: Tsitsipas in 2

Main photo:
Embed from Getty Images

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.