Ilya Ivashka should open title tilt with victory over Pella
Qualifier has shown enough promise to warrant support indoors
12.30pm approx Wednesday
Ilya Ivashka has been installed favourite to defeat Guido Pella in the St Petersburg Open and bookmakers may well be proved correct.
Pella edged out Dusan Lajovic in his St Petersburg opener last year, but this year's assignment could be tougher for the Argentinian, who reached the Umag final on clay in July.
Ivashka, who had to toil to post narrow triumphs over Russian duo Evgeny Karlovskiy and Evgenii Tiurnev in qualifying at the weekend, is a progressive performer who has victories over Stan Wawrinka, Daniil Medvedev, Ryan Harrison and Florian Mayer this season.
He will have the lion's share of support on an indoor hard court in north-west Russia and it's a slight surprise that Ivashka has not been priced shorter to reach the last 16 given his credentials.
There is further televised action on Wednesday from the WTA events in Tokyo, Seoul and Guangzhou.
1pt 5-8 Betfair
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