Will indoors specialist Filip Krajinovic win his maiden ATP Final at the third time of asking against the young star Denis Shapovalov?
<div><h2><strong>Denis Shapovalov(4) vs. Filip Krajinovic</strong></h2><p><strong>Sunday, October 20, Stockholm</strong><br /><br />So, here we are. The first ATP career final for Denis Shapovalov. Much has been expected of the young Canadian, who has fallen flat in all seven of his earlier semifinals. All were lost, and without even taking a set in any of them. It was almost starting to turn into a bit of a curse, so I reckon the 20-year old will be very relieved breaking that miserable streak. Shapovalov´s performances as a whole have improved massively ever since Mikhail Youzhny took him under his wing. However, there are many rough edges about Denis, who is plenty inexperienced both in mind and game wise. The inconsistent Canadian either plays scintillating tennis or heinous such, with there not really existing a middle ground. His pathway to the final has looked like this:</p><p><em>Shapovalov D. - Sugita Y. SF 7-5, 6-2</em></p><p><em>Shapovalov D. - Stebe C. QF 6-0, 6-3</em></p><p><em>Shapovalov D. - Popyrin A. R16 6-4, 7-6(3)</em><br /><br />As we can see, albeit capable opponents, it´s been an incredibly comfortable draw for Shapovalov, whose main rivals in the form of Reilly Opelka and Fabio Fognini dropped out like flies in their first match. Fellow young gun in 90-ranked Alexei Popyrin pushed Denis, whilst the heavily taped 213-ranked Stebe just didn´t have the game to contend with a redlining world no. 34. It was always going to be a tough ask for 129-ranked Sugita Yuichi to repeat his 2017 triumph over the 20-year old Canadian, and the circumstances made it all the more difficult.<br /><br />Going through qualifying, coming in as a lucky loser and surviving a 3hr9m thriller against Janko Tipsarevic (which finished close to midnight) after which he could hardly walk, he would come into the semifinal low on energy. Despite this, Shapovalov was woeful early on and donated the Japanese warrior an early break. It would take a racquet smash for the world no. 34 to get back on track, and after surviving a 0-30 hole down 4-5, he would steamroll to his first ATP final.<br /><br />Filip Krajinovic on the other hand made his third career ATP final, and it´s been in impressive fashion he has made it here. The indoors specialist last made a final in Budapest in 2019, but before that one, it was indeed indoors where the maiden final appearance stems from. Not just any tournament either, with the then 25-year old coming through qualifying to come to within a set of hoisting the illustrious Paris Masters trophy. Can he go one further and claim his maiden title in Stockholm? This is how the path to the final has looked like:<br /><br /><em>Krajinovic F. - Carreno-Busta P. SF 4-6, 6-3, 6-3</em></p><p><em>Krajinovic F. - Nishioka Y. QF 6-3, 6-4</em></p><p><em>Krajinovic F. - Evans D. R16 7-5, 2-6, 6-3</em></p><p><em>Krajinovic F. - Ruud C. 1R 6-3, 7-5</em><br /><br />Compared to his the route of his final opponent, it´s been a significantly tougher road for Krajinovic to reach this far. Being a slight favourite or underdog in all but his first round match, the world no. 60 has had to labour hard. Casper Ruud may be ranked world no. 59, but he is no indoors player and the Serb was able to dominate that affair. 43-ranked Daniel Evans is a much trickier prospect though, and a fine performance was needed to prevail in three. Current world no. 35 and former world no. 10, Pablo Carreno-Busta started the favourite in this one behind his experience at this level, reaching 21 career semifinals to Krajinovic´s 5.</p><p><a href="http://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=164&a=f339dce1-88de-4994-ab6a-c24e019bdf3b&f=3" target="_blank"><img alt src="https://cmscdn.staticcache.org/assets/image/0003/1348572/WHC_27064_Updated-In-Play-Tennis-Insurance_1280x480NEW.jpg" style="width:100%" /></a><br /><br />The 28-year old would also start the best, coming up with clutch serving to stave off an early break point and break first for a 4-1 first set lead. Filip would come back, but got broken straight back to give away the opener 6-4. However, the extra power of the Serb was apparent, and he was able to assert himself and take control of the majority of the baseline rallies. Storming to a 5-2 second set lead, the 27-year old could even afford to be broken serving for the set and instead broke to take it 6-3. In the start of the third set, Krajinovic was under enormous amounts of pressure in his opening two service games, and had to pick up clutch tennis to save three break points to hold on. Playing within himself, the Serb would strike at 4-3, breaking and holding serve to wrap up the decider by the same scoreline as the second set.<br /><br />In this meeting we will be guaranteed a maiden ATP title, as neither player has yet won silverware at the main level. There is no doubt about who is the significantly more experienced player though, that being Filip Krajinovic. 11 years a professional tennis player, with 10 Challenger titles and three appearances in an ATP final before, is a vast advantage over the inexperienced Shapovalov. While the 20-year old is a supreme talent, he is only in his third year as a pro, and nerves have gotten the better of him on the big occasion before. As much has been prefaced by that woeful 0-7 straight sets semifinal loss streak which was just now broken. Inexperienced in both mind and body, it will a tough enough assignment just to keep himself focused on the task at hand. Employing an exceedingly powerful but inconsistent game, a loss of focus or tensing up due to nerves would be the 20-year old´s undoing.<br /><br />Looking at the stats, it´s the Canadian who is slightly ahead with a 3.5% hold/break edge in the 12 month hard court numbers, and also sporting a 44 point hard court ELO advantage. However, this small advantage is mitigated by Krajinovic´s indoor prowess, coupled with the fact that Shapovalov himself is only 14-14 on main level indoor hard court, even counting the three wins from this week. Furthermore, it´s undoubtedly the world no. 34 who has had the much easier path to the final, and at times has still struggled and gotten pushed hard. His opponent on the other hand has played incredibly impressive tennis throughout, with Filip himself citing he´s playing his very best tennis this week in yesterday´s post match interview. Playing clutch tennis in the crucial moments against high quality opposition will only have strengthened the Serb´s belief going into this final.<br /><br />Though we have no previous head-to-head meeting to draw upon, it should be a matchup that Krajinovic should enjoy. He can be stingy from the baseline but will also switch up the pace with a slice or drop shot - and immediately pounce on any short ball with his vigorous forehand. For Shapovalov the pathway to victory is much narrower, and requires a redlining performance of displaying perfect attacking tennis. There will be no margin for error or nerves, Filip is far too good to let those opportunities pass by. If not playing at his very best for the entire affair, this is an enormous task for the 20-year old Canadian. Any nerves also sneaking into the picture would make this matchup a massive mountain to climb. Despite all this, Pinnacle has opened Krajinovic as a <strong>humongous </strong>underdog at a truly baffling 2.81 price. We say thank you very much, and pounce on that in a heartbeat. Krajinovic wins his maiden ATP title.<br /><br /><a href="http://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=155&a=6a145d2b-505f-491b-a70e-2f5f31742828&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Tennis Betting Odds"><strong><em>Best bet: Krajinovic to win at 2.81 (181/100) with [Pinnacle] 1.5u</em></strong></a></p></div>