Fixture: (3) Denis Shapovalov vs Lloyd Harris
Date: 19 March 2021
Tournament: Dubai Tennis Championships
Venue: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Category: ATP 500
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $1,897,805
Match timing: Not before 5 pm local time, 6.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel
Denis Shapovalov vs Lloyd Harris preview
Denis Shapovalov will face Lloyd Harris in the semifinals of the 2021 Dubai Tennis Championships on Friday.
Shapovalov ousted Jeremy Chardy in straight sets in Thursday's quarterfinal, winning 7-5, 6-4. Meanwhile Harris' dream run in Dubai continued with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 win over Kei Nishikori later in the day.
There is no denying that Denis Shapovalov has been playing sublime tennis all week. But at the same time, Harris' form in the Middle Eastern city cannot be ignored.
The South African is on a six-match winning streak in Dubai, which includes a couple of qualifying round wins. In the main draw, Harris took the field by storm by defeating top seed Dominic Thiem in the second round.
Such was Harris' dominance against Thiem that he didn't face a single break point throughout the match. Harris then beat the higher-ranked Filip Krajinovic, before weathering Nishikori's mid-match resurgence with aplomb too.
The 24-year-old has proven that his big win over Stan Wawrinka in Qatar a week ago was no fluke. Harris' consistency and resilience have made him a tough nut to crack for even the most experienced campaigners on the tour.
That will be the tough task for Shapovalov, who is enjoying a purple patch of his own. The third-seeded Canadian is yet to drop a set in Dubai, and perhaps even more impressively, hasn’t been broken a single time.
After a surprising second-round exit against Taylor Fritz in Qatar, Shapovalov has pulled up his socks in Dubai, where he is now one of the firm favorites for the title.
Denis Shapovalov vs Lloyd Harris head-to-head
Denis Shapovalov and Lloyd Harris have never faced each other on tour before, and so their head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Denis Shapovalov vs Lloyd Harris prediction
In a week full of upsets and unexpected results, it is difficult to gauge the outcome of a match between two in-form players like Denis Shapovalov and Lloyd Harris.
Shapovalov does have a slight edge on paper though, given his numbers this week. The Canadian has won a whopping 76 of his 85 first-serve points, amounting to a cumulative winning percentage of 89.4%.
Even on the second serve, Shapovalov has a respectable winning percentage of 67.8%. The stats suggest Harris has to return exceedingly well to stay with Shapovalov in the match.
That said, Harris has won at least a fourth of his first-serve return points in every main-draw match he has played this week. The South African certainly has it in him to put up a good fight against anyone.
If Shapovalov can maintain his form and rhythm, he should make his way to the final. But strange things have happened this week, especially when Lloyd Harris has been involved.
Prediction: Denis Shapovalov to win in three sets.