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Montreal Focus: Shapo vs Demon Rivalry

Denis Shapovalov vs Alex de Minaur first round clash in Montreal Masters is an interesting duel for many reasons. The Aussie leads the match stopped by rain delay at 75 and 3-3 in the second set tiebreaker.

de Minaur has won both ATP matches vs Shapo, in three sets in Davis Cup 2019 and also in three sets in ATP Cup 2020.

Shapo did beat de Minaur once, in 2017 at Surbiton Challenger qualies, also in three sets.

The tight matches between the two young guns are not the only ways the two 23 year olds are closely connected. de Minaur is ranked 21 in the world, Shapo is ranked 22.

de Minaur has won six ATP singles titles, compared to just one for Shapovalov however the Canadian has earned more career prize money – $9.3m while the Aussie has made $7.3m.

Shapos’s career record is 151-126, while de Minaur’s is 141-100.

Shapo’s best ranking so far has been no. 10 in September 2020 while de Minaur was ranked as high as 15 last summer.

The Shapo vs de Minaur rivalry is one of those classic style matchups where both players have to struggle and fight to win and neither player is quite able to solve the puzzle of the other’s tactics and shotmaking, each match comes down to a handful of points.

Both players are on the verge of threatening for Grand Slam titles, both players have proven they can compete with the very best and are only a couple of fine tunings and refinements from being the best. de Minaur and Shapovalov represent the best of the ATP’s future.

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  • MATT SEGEL · August 9, 2022 at 9:24 am

    I was surprised at this matchup in the first round and so I looked and by the rankings (with withdrawals), this is the most difficult first round match up possible. Monfils is ranked 20 and is seeded, so these are the top two non seeded players playing each other in the first round.

    I reasoned that there are four broad areas that make up an athlete. Talent, skill, fitness, and mentality. In my estimation Shapo’s mentality score is weak. He just doesn’t figure out how to win, make adjustments. Talent and skill are really high, I am kind of disappointed how he has developed as he really is a human highlight reel.

    Of course he’s great, just seems like he could be really great.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2022 at 9:35 am

    Matt, Shapovalov has been a big disappointment after his electrifying SF Montreal run in 2017 we all expected more. Marcelo Melo told me he thinks Shapo is better than Felix and should have made a GS F or SF by now. Something may be going on beneath the surface. Have you noticed the ATP Tour promotes Felix more than Shapo?

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 9, 2022 at 9:51 am

    I think the tennis establishment gives preferential treatment to Felix over Shapovalov.

  • Bill McGill · August 10, 2022 at 2:53 pm

    He really is a human highlight reel. In fact, it is not uncommon for the ATP highlights of matches he loses badly to consist of 7 or 8 of his shots and just the match point of his opponent. It tells you all you need to know – he’s giving up an extraordinary number of points where his opponent didn’t need to do anything special. But because he can get hot for a tournament or a month, I’d still bet on him to win a masters or a GS one day, but I think Sinner, Alcaraz and FA2 have the brighter futures.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 10, 2022 at 4:45 pm

    Bill, Shapo is a great athlete and explosive player and his athleticism is perfect for tennis. Not sure if he has the head to win majors, he may be complacent where he’s at. Not sure if he has that ‘each match, each point is life and death” obsession which is needed to win majors today. Could be another Dimitrov, Monfils, Rios, Gasquet type showman.



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