Denis Shapovalov vs Felix Auger Aliassime Barcelona Open 2021: Prediction | Preview | H2H Analysis

It is an all-Canadian clash between the 7th seed Denis Shapovalov and the 10th seeded Felix Auger Aliassime in the pre-quarterfinals of the Barcelona Open.

Denis Shapovalov vs Felix Auger Aliassime: Preview

Shapovalov overcame the French veteran Jeremy Chardy 6-3 7-5 in the second round. The Canadian smashed 9 aces and bagged 70% of points on his second serve.

On the other hand, Felix registered a come-from-behind victory against Italian sensation Lorenzo Musetti in the round of 32. 

Trailing 6-4 after losing the first set, the Canadian triumphed after winning the second and third sets 6-3 6-0. Alaissime fired 5 aces, saved 6 out of 8 breakpoints, and clinched 75% of points on his first serve.

The match is scheduled to begin at 11 AM Central European Time.

Denis Shapovalov vs Felix Auger Aliassime: Head to Head Record

Shapovalov and Felix are tied 2-2 in their close head-to-head record. Aliassime has beaten the Canadian on clay in the round of 64 in straight sets at the first round of the Mutua Madrid Open in 2019.

Denis Shapovalov vs Felix Auger Aliassime
Next-Gen Firepower: Close friends and former doubles partners Shapovalov and Felix lock horns in their fifth singles match in their careers. Image Credits - CultMTL

Denis Shapovalov vs Felix Auger Aliassime: Key Insights

  • Shapovalov has never beaten Felix on clay courts in his career.
  • Aliassime was defeated by Kei Nishikori in straight sets in the pre-quarterfinals of the Barcelona Open 2019.
  • Shapovalov lost in the second round to Garin in straight sets in the last-held Barcelona Open in 2019.
  • Shapovalov is playing his first clay-court tournament of the season.

Denis Shapovalov vs Felix Auger Aliassime: Recent form in ATP Tour

Shapovalov skipped the Monte Carlo Open. He lost in the second round to eventual champion Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets in the Miami Open. The Canadian won only 50% of points on his serve and failed to save three breakpoints.

Aliassime was defeated by the 16th seed Cristian Garin in straight sets in the first round of the Monte Carlo Open. The Canadian claimed only 48% of points on his second serve and saved only 1 out of 6 breakpoints.

Denis Shapovalov: Will the recent tweaks in his game yield results?

Being an aggressive player, the serve and volley strategy is ideal for Shapovalov's success on the red dirt. 

The Canadian can struggle a bit if his opponent's hit backhand returns close to the sidelines. The left-hander has opted to stay behind the baseline to ensure his return of serve lands deep onto the other side. 

The 22-year-old also plans to slide on the clay surface to stay dominant in the long rallies with the slow pace and unpredictable bounce.  

Felix Auger Aliassime: Will guidance from Toni Nadal help his game?

Aliassime recently hired the experienced Toni Nadal (uncle of former World number 1 Rafael Nadal) as his coach. Toni would work alongside his long-term mentor Frederic Fontang to fully utilize the potential of Felix to become a top player soon. Aliassime may have caught the eyes of Toni Nadal after training in recent times at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca.

"First of all it is a big privilege, so far it has been good, we will see if he can help me and bring advice and tools for me to be a better player on this surface, but it does not come as a straight guarantee that having him in my corner will guarantee me victories on clay," said Felix reflecting his new partnership with the legendary Toni Nadal.

Shapovalov's superior shotmaking skills would help him against Aliassime. Felix has thrown away good starts in matches several times in the past and that would affect his chances.

The two youngsters, Denis (22) and Felix (20) reflect an exciting future for Canadian tennis. Shapovalov, the World number 14 has a potent one-handed backhand to unsettle Aliassime's game. 

Felix is a splendid mover on the court and can hit lightning-fast shots. The winner of the first set will mostly get the victory.

Prediction - Denis Shapovalov to win in three sets against Felix Auger Aliassime

Featured Image Credits - Getty Images

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