TennisSection previews the 2021 Qatar Open as Denis Shapovalov (4) meets Taylor Fritz in the Quarter-Finals on Thursday March 11th, 2021.
This is an exciting matchup between two young stars of the ATP Tour. Can the fast-rising Canadian Denis Shapovalov overcome the challenge from American Taylor Fritz here at the 2021 Qatar Open? Both players have gotten off to strong starts here in Doha and will be very motivated to win here. Who will win and advance to their first Semi-Final of the season?
Denis Shapovalov is currently ranked #11 in the ATP world rankings and is one of the most exciting young stars on the circuit today. After a breakthrough season in 2020 which saw him enter the top 10 for the first time, he will be eager to build on that with a strong 2021. After an impressive ATP Cup he reached the Third Round at the Australian Open. He will be disappointed with his season so far and is surely eager to put in a strong performance here at the Qatar Open. He played great tennis in his straight set win over countryman Vasek Pospisil in the Round of 16, winning 7-5, 6-4. The young Canadian is seemingly on a collision course with Roger Federer and enters this match as the strong favorite. His big serve and groundstrokes make him a threat on any surface and his confidence is very high.
Taylor Fritz is currently ranked #33 in the world and is the #2 American. Long considered as a future star, he has largely failed to live up to those lofty expectations. Still only 23 years, time is on his side and he has shown flashes of star quality throughout his career. After a solid but unspectacular start to the year, he has looked very strong here at the 2021 Qatar Open, defeating Lorenzo Sonego and upsetting sixth seeded David Goffin en route to this stage. His huge serve is a major weapon, especially on fast courts like these and his forehand allows him to dictate play from the baseline. His backhand is a weakness however, and the lefty Denis Shapovalov will be sure to exploit that in a big way. Taylor Fritz enters this match as the underdog but his confidence is sky high after the win over Goffin.
The two youngsters have played each other three times over the course of their careers, with Denis Shapovalov winning on each occasion, leading the head to head series 3-0. This match is sure to be very entertaining and will feature lots of big serving and fantastic shot-making. Taylor Fritz has been in superb form so far here at the Qatar Open and will fancy his chances of getting his first win over the fourth seeded Shapovalov. In their current form, it is hard to separate the two, so backing each player to win a set and and at least one tiebreaker in the match are smart moves. I expect a very close match but given his edge in “big match experience” I am going with the Canadian here.
Free Tennis Preview and Prediction: Denis Shapovalov to win.