Daniil Medvedev vs. Denis Shapovalov
|Date & Time||Friday October 5, 2018, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Denis Shapovalov and Daniil Medvedev meet in the semifinals of the 2018 tennis Japan Open.
Denis Shapovalov is coming off a three sets win over Jan-Lennard Struff that took 33 games to decide. In the victory, Shapovalov won 80 percent of his first serve points and 59 percent of his second serve points. Shapovalov won 71 percent of his total service points and saved two of his three break points. Shapovalov managed to grind out a victory despite dropping the first set, and he produced 16 aces in the near two and a half hour match. Shapovalov has won all three of his matches in three sets, and each of his last seven matches overall have gone the distance. Either way, Shapovalov has to like his chances if he continues to get so many free points with his serve. Shapovalov has a chance to make his first ever ATP main tour final appearance. Shapovalov has won five of his last six matches on indoor hard court.
Daniil Medvedev is coming off a straight sets win over Milos Raonic that took 22 games to decide. In the victory, Medvedev won 84 percent of his first serve points and 74 percent of his second serve points. Medvedev won 80 percent of his total service points and didn’t face a single break point in a victory that lasted a little over an hour. Medvedev has now won 10 of his last 11 sets when you include qualifying and has been serving at an extremely high level during that process. Losing just 12 of 60 service points in his last match, it just goes to show how confident Medvedev is hitting the ball at the moment, and you rarely see Raonic go down so easily. Medvedev has a chance to make his third final appearance of the year and his fourth final appearance of his career. Medvedev has won seven of his last eight matches on indoor hard court.
These two have played twice and Shapovalov has won both meetings. The most recent match was in this years Citi Open, a match Shapovalov won in three sets. The other match was in the 2017 US Open, a match Shapovalov won in three sets as well.
Both of these guys are hitting the ball well at the moment, so break points will be key and rare. Whoever can execute in those small windows will probably win this match. While Medvedev is probably serving better and has experience on his side, I’m going with Shapovalov. He’s not only beaten Medvedev in both times they’ve played, but this is a realistic chance for Shapovalov to kind of have that breakthrough moment and taste a final appearance on the main stage. The hunger is there, and I expect Shapovalov to bring a higher level of focus.
Shapovalov grinds out a competitive victory.