Mikhail Youzhny Bids Farewell in St. Petersburg
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
The ATP 250 in St. Petersburg, Russia features a host of young guns, and is also the send off tournament for retiring former top 10 player Mikhail Youzhny.
Top seed Dominic Thiem had a strong US Open, that should set him up to defeat Andrey Rublev or J.L. Struff in round 2. Rublev has been in poor form and would love to bounce back in a home tournament. The in-form Denis Istomin will face Mikhail Kukushkin, with Russia’s Daniil Medvedev favored against the tricky Joao Sousa. Medvedev should defeat Sousa and Istomin before upsetting Thiem in front of home fans in the quarterfinals.Embed from Getty Images
I’ll back the retiring Youzhny to make a run, he has a decent draw, Mirza Basic is not strong, while Roberto Bautista Agut is out of form (and faces a qualifier in round 1). I’ll back Youzhny over Basic and RBA, fueled by emotion. Marcos Baghdatis or Lukas Lacko will await in the quarters, Baghdatis will face Marco Cecchinato if he beats Lacko. Cecchinato is a poor hard court player. I have Youzhny into the semifinals.Embed from Getty Images
Fabio Fognini over Denis Shapovalov should decide the bottom section, Fognini faces Martin Klizan or Evgeny Donskoy first, Shapovalov comes off Davis Cup facing a qualifier, with Matteo Berrentini or Guillermo Garcia-Lopez to follow. Fognini has a great shot at this title.Embed from Getty Images
Another potential winner, Karen Khachanov, faces Stan Wawrinka or Aljaz Bedene first, presuming he can get past Wawrinka at home, Khachanov will be favored opposite Damir Dzumhur, Guido Pella, or one of two qualifiers in the quarters. I’ll back Khachanov into the semis.Embed from Getty Images
Medvedev d. Youzhny
Khachanov d. Fognini
I’ll predict an all-Russian final, with Khachanov edging Medvedev to take the title.
Khachanov d. Medvedev