TennisSection previews the 2022 Tokyo Open as Taylor Fritz takes on Denis Shapovalov in the semifinal on Saturday, October 8th, 2022.
Will Denis Shapovalov maintain his near-perfect record against Taylor Fritz? The pair are set to cross swords for the sixth time on tour-level competition at the Tokyo Open. Who will prevail?
Taylor Fritz had an appalling record at the Tokyo Open. The lanky American had lost in each of his last three trips to Japan’s capital at the first hurdle. But there is different swagger accompanying Fritz in 2022 and has since addressed that record this week albeit in difficult circumstances. The 24-year-old is the top-ranked American man, sitting 11th in the rankings after a tremendous season which yielded a first Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells and a maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance at Wimbledon. Fritz has beaten each of his last two opponents in three sets and was the direct beneficiary of Nick Kyrgios’ withdrawal in the quarterfinals.
Denis Shapovalov, meanwhile, produced the biggest shock of the week as he knocked out in-form Croat Borna Coric in straight sets in the quarterfinals of the Tokyo Open. Shapovalov, who reached last week’s final in Seoul, barely put a foot wrong as he dominated Coric in an hour and 17 minutes. His serve was the cornerstone of everything good he did during the afternoon in which he hammered nine aces and won 89% first-serve points. A place in championship match beckons for the Canadian lefty who is expected to re-enter the world’s top 20 next week.
Denis Shapovalov leads Taylor Fritz 4-1 in their head-to-head. All five meetings were contested on hard courts and Shapovalovhas surprisingly been the dominant player in this rivalry. Fritz comes into this match as a slight underdog and there were worrying concerns on his general body coordination and movement in each of his two matches this week. His serve will be put under the microscope by the hyper-aggressive Shapovalov who will surely be buoyed to return to the championship match for the second time in as many weeks.
Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Denis Shapovalov in 3 Sets.
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