TennisSection previews the 2023 Australian Open as Denis Shapovalov takes on Dusan Lajovic in the first round on Monday, January 16, 2023.
Denis Shapovalov will be looking to emulate last year’s best run at the Australian Open. He will be expected to charge past Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic. The Serbian’s record on hard courts is not the best. Will Canada’s No. 2 get off to a winning start?
Denis Shapovalov has started 2023 with a quarterfinal run at the Adelaide International. He fell to eventual champion Djokovic in a tight two-setter. While Shapovalov would have preferred a couple more matches to iron the kinks, I don’t think he will be fazed by the prospect of playing Dusan Lajovic in his first match at the 2023 Australian Open.
Dusan Lajovic, for his part, has played one match in 2023. He lost in the qualies in Auckland to Christopher Eubanks, hardly an ideal preparation for the Australian Open. While the Serb has been to the second week of the year’s first Grand Slam before, his stock has dropped down sharply in recent seasons and we don’t envisage him causing a big shock against Denis Shapovalov.
Denis Shapovalov owns a 1-0 record over Dusan Lajovic. He thrashed the Serb at the Monte Carlo Masters in 2021 for a loss of three games. We expect the Canadian’s heavy hitting to wear down Lajovic in this match. The Serbian World No. 81 has played once in 2023. And he could be running out of steam very quickly.
Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Denis Shapovalov in 3 sets
Free Value Bet: Denis Shapovalov to win first set
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