Andrey Rublev vs Denis Shapovalov - Winston Salem Open - Quarterfinals - Preview and Prediction
This is an exciting time for tennis fans as two of the finest and talented next gen players - Andrey Rublev of Russia and Denis Shapovalov of Canada lock horns against each other in this blockbuster match-up.
It has been a mixed year for Shapovalov. He began the year reaching the third round in the Australian Open losing to the eventual champion Novak Djokovic in four sets. Shapovalov impressed with some good performances by reaching the quarterfinals in the Montpellier Open, Rotterdam Open, Lyon Open, .He also reached the pre-quarterfinals in the Indian Wells losing to Hurkacz in a close three setter. He was at his best form in the Miami Open where he reached the semi-finals before the eventual champion Federer handed him a tennis lesson with a 6-2 6-4 thrashing.
He crashed out early in the clay-court tournaments held in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome and also lost in the first round of the French Open. Shapovalov experimented in men's doubles and the pair tasted success when the ended as runners-up in the Stuttgart Open and semifinalists in the Rogers Cup. Another first round exit followed in Wimbledon.
Shapovalov was a bit inconsistent this season but has shown good touch in this tournament winning both his matches in straight sets against Sandgren- who beat Murray earlier and Kecmanovic.
Shapovalov's plus point is his ability to play his A-game against the big players as he has defeated some good players in Berdych, Cilic and Tsitsipas this year.
Rublev's standout performance of this year has been a final finish in the Indian Well challenger series and the Hamburg Open. He made waves last year when he reached the ATP Next Gen finals finishing third. Rublev made the whole world take notice and stunned tennis fans when he shocked Roger Federer 6-3 6-4 in just 62 minutes. He was unstoppable in that match and Federer did not have any answers and was playing catchup from the first game.
Rublev has shown his prowess by beating some big names in Tsonga, Cilic, Busta, Thiem, Basilashvili, Wawrinka, Federer and Sam Querrey.
Shapovalov might possess one of the best forehands in business but his weak backhand can prove to be a great advantage for the in-form Rublev. A win for Shapovalov would boost his confidence ahead of the US Open while a win for Rublev would make him more consistent as he looks to continue his purple patch.
The head to head record is tied 1-1 between both the players and there is not much difference between their talent and quality.
The contest between the right handed Rublev and the left handed Shapovalov would be delightful for the fans as it would be similar to a Federer- Nadal clash.
Rublev will hold the edge as he is in great touch and has big-match experience.
Andrey Rublev to win in three sets