TennisSection previews the 2021 Qatar Open as Denis Shapovalov (4) meets Vasek Pospisil in the Round of 16 on Wednesday March 10th, 2021.
This match is sure to be an entertaining one between the two Canadian players. Will the experienced Vasek Pospisil be able to get the win here and put his poor run of form behind him? Or will the young and talented Denis Shapovalov continue on his quest to re-enter the world top 10 rankings? This is a very interesting Round of 16 clash here at the 2021 Qatar Open, who will advance to the Quarter-Finals?
Denis Shapovalov is currently ranked #11 in the world and is considered one of the brightest young stars on the ATP Tour. After an outstanding 2020 season which saw him break into the top 10 for the first time, he will be eager to continue that same momentum into his 2021 season. The young Canadian has had a relatively poor start to the year, compiling a 2-3 record thus far. Despite not winning a match he played some great tennis at the ATP Cup, displaying his maturity as a player. A three set loss to Alexander Zverev and a very close match with Novak Djokovic will only serve to give him confidence and belief that he can compete with the world’s best players. Shapovalov then had some good wins at the Australian Open over Jannik Sinner and Bernard Tominc before falling somewhat surprisingly to Felix Auger-Aliassime in the Third Round. He enters the 2021 Qatar Open as the second seed and will be eager to get his 2021 season back on track.
Vasek Pospisil is currently ranked #67 in the world, and has seen his ranking slide after an inconsistent few years. The Canadian played some outstanding tennis between 2018-2019 which saw him rise into the top 25 in the rankings, but a string of poor results and injuries see him outside the top 60. He has not played much this season, with his only match being a straight sets loss to Daniil Medvedev at the Australian Open. While his results have not been great over the past few years he remains a very dangerous player, with a huge serve and strong groundstrokes. He is also very mentally strong, and puts points together very well. At only 30 years of age there is still time for him to turn his career around and get back into the top 50, and he displayed some solid tennis in his First Round win over Christopher O’Connell. He enters this match as the underdog and will have to put in an outstanding performance to have any chance here at the Qatar Open.
The two Canadians know each other’s games very well, having played Davis Cup together and facing each other twice on the ATP Tour. The head to head series is currently tied 1-1 and both players will be seeking to edge in front here at the 2021 Qatar Open. This will be a critical match for both players as they seek to get their seasons back on track and the intensity will undoubtedly be very high. While Shapovalov is the clear favorite on paper due to his outstanding current record and ranking, the vast experience of his opponent cannot be discounted. Vasek Pospisil was recently a top 25 player and knows the youngster’s game very well, so this match may not be a straightforward as some may think. I expect a very tight match between the two, with very few breaks of serve. It won’t be easy, but I think that Shapovalov has matured greatly as a player in recent times and will be up for the challenge, winning here in two close sets.
Free Tennis Preview and Prediction: Denis Shapovalov to win.