TennisSection previews the 2021 Dubai Open as Denis Shapovalov (3) meets Hubert Hurkacz (13) in the Third Round on Wednesday, March 17th 2021.
Will Denis Shapovalov be able to put on yet another dominating performance as he did in the Second Round when he beat Jan-Lennard Struff in just 1 hour? Will Hubert Hurkacz be able to extend his head to head lead against Denis Shapovalov as he likes playing against the Canadian? Both players are on top of their game here in Dubai, but only one will make their way to the Quarter-finals. Who will it be?
Hubert Hurkacz put on a very solid performance in the Second Round, beating the very experienced and talented Richard Gasquet in straight sets. Hurkacz was in control throughout the entire match, dictating play, and winning it 6-3/6-4. Hurkacz has had a great 2021 season, winning the 2021 Delray Beach Open title earlier in the year, and just controlling many matches he has played in these conditions. Hurkacz has a very big serve, and on these hard-courts, he is able to get it to kick up extremely high, preventing his opponents from getting a good return on it. Although he is tall, Hurkacz also has great movement and speed around the court. Now, Hurkacz will need to be on top of his game as he meets a very in form Denis Shapovalov here in the Third Round, but he will be confident as he has never lost against the Canadian.
Denis Shapovalov was in complete cruise control in his Second Round match against Jan-Lennard Struff. Shapovalov won the match in just one hour, winning in straight sets 6-1/6-3. This was a great victory for Shapovalov to get under his belt, as it allowed him to both gain some momentum, but show that although he was 3-1 down in their head to head lead, he was not scared of changing that. Shapovalov still has to show us that he can do this day in and day out, because until we see that, we can assume that this is just another wave in the Shapovalov story. Denis is a very strange player in terms of consistency, as sometimes he is just playing out of this world, and then the next match he is playing very badly. Which Denis Shapovalov will come out to play on Wednesday against the always tough Hubert Hurkacz?
Denis Shapovalov and Hubert Hurkacz have met twice before, with Hubert Hurkacz leading the head to head 2-0. Both players put on great performances in the Second Round here, cruising through their matches, however, only one can come out on top here. Personally, I believe that Denis Shapovalov is still not where he needs to be, and when we are looking at who has shown more high-level tennis and consistency this year, it has to be Hubert Hurkacz. Of course, Shapovalov is the much higher ranked player, but Hurkacz just knows how to play him and get the job done. Hurkacz will outserve Shapovalov, and be able to return a lot of balls. All of this will frustrate Denis, and when he lets his emotions get in the way, he loses more often than not.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Hubert Hurkacz to win.