Denis Shapovalov vs Gilles Simon: French Open Preview and Prediction
Ninth seed Denis Shapovalov starts his French Open campaign against homeboy, Gilles Simon.
Shapovalov is coming into this tournament after losing a thrilling three-setter to Diego Schwartzman in the semifinals of the Rome Masters.
Simon is arriving into Roland Garros with a loss against Jiri Vesely in the round of 32 at the Hamburg Open.
Head to Head record
Shapovalov leads the head to head record 1-0 against Simon. This is their first meeting on the clay surface.
While the Canadian has reached great heights this year with a quarterfinal finish at the US Open being one of the highlights.
He has controlled his emotions by playing smart and patient tennis to get the desired results. His point construction is well organized now without any inconsistency.
Though Simon is highly experienced on the red dirt, he is not a feared player as he once was. He should use his counter-punching ability to unsettle Shapovalov.
Shapovalov has added a lot of variety to his powerful game. He will use the cold conditions in Paris by hitting through the heavy air with the help of his muscle strength.
His big serve and consistent one-handed backhand have been pivotal to his recent success. Having failed to cross the second round in his last five tournaments, Simon would be under pressure.
Having broken into the top 10 of the rankings for the first time in his career, Shapovalov would be oozing with high confidence.
Working with the experienced Mikhail Youzhny has done a load of good to his maturity as a player.
Simon will look to hang in by starting strong and extract some errors from Shapovalov. With the unexpected pull-out of Milos Raonic from the tournament, Shapovalov will spearhead Canada's hopes.
The youngster has improved his net game by miles and also developed an efficient doubles player volley owing to his partnership with Rohan Bopanna.
Simon must use his counter-punching style of tennis and stay aggressive on returns to have any chance of pulling off an unlikely upset.
Prediction - Denis Shapovalov to win in four sets
Featured image credits: firstsportz.com