Date: 22 October 2020
Tournament: Bett1Hulks Championship 2020
Round: Second round (Round of 16)
Venue: Cologne, Germany
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Indoor ardcourt
Prize money: €325,610
Match timing: Approx. 4 pm CEST, 7.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel
Denis Shapovalov vs Gilles Simon preview
Denis Shapovalov and Gilles Simon will face each other in the second round of the bett1Hulks Championship in Cologne on Thursday.
This will be their second meeting within a month, after facing each other in the opening round at Roland Garros. That encounter was won in four sets by Shapovalov.
The Canadian is the third seed at this event, and comes in with a lot of expectations.
Shapovalov had a fairly successful St. Petersburg campaign last week, where he made the semis. The 21-year-old gave a tough fight to eventual champion Andrey Rublev in the last four clash before losing in three sets.
Shapovalov has improved by leaps and bounds lately, and is a more complete player than what he was last year. However, he had some issues with his left arm and shoulder during his match against Rublev; the youngster would be hoping that he has recovered fully as the indoor season picks up steam.
Needless to say, Gilles Simon won’t be an easy opponent for Shapovalov. The Frenchman is a veteran of the tour, and some of the best results of his career have come on indoor hardcourt.
Simon had kick-started his campaign at Cologne 1 last week with a resounding 6-0, 6-3 win over the dangerous Marton Fucsovics. He then ran Roberto Bautist Agut close before losing 6-4, 7-6(5).
Clearly, the 35-year-old can still give the best in the business a run for their money.
At Cologne 2, Gilles Simon opened with a comfortable straight-sets victory over Jordan Thompson.
Denis Shapovalov vs Gilles Simon head-to-head
Denis Shapovalov leads Gilles Simon by a margin of 2-0 in the head-to-head. As mentioned earlier, their most recent encounter was at the 2020 French Open, where the Canadian triumphed.
The only other time they met each other was at Paris-Bercy 2019. However, Simon had to retire due to injury early in the first set of that match.
Denis Shapovalov vs Gilles Simon prediction
Denis Shapovalov's consistency is improving by the day, and his backhand is widely considered among the most dangerous on the tour. The youngster is a lot more measured player in his approach now, and knows exactly when to pull the trigger.
Lethal off both wings, Shapovalov can be expected to pressurize Gilles Simon’s defense throughout the match. For Simon to trouble the Canadian, he will have to put up a very consistent display - especially on his serve. Shapovalov will tee off on any second serve he gets a look at, so the Frenchman will have to try and get a lot of first serves in.
A fully-fit Shapovalov would be the hands-down favorite to emerge victorious in this match-up.
Prediction: Denis Shapovalov to win in straight sets.Published 21 Oct 2020, 00:08 IST