Tournament: French Open 2022.
Round: First round (Round of 128).
Venue: Paris, France.
Category: Grand Slam.
Surface: Outdoor clay.
Prize money: €21,256,800.
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel, NBC Sports and Peacock TV | Canada - TSN | UK - Eurosport | India - Sony Ten.
Denis Shapovalov vs Holger Rune preview
World No. 15 Denis Shapovalov will take on rising star Holger Rune in the first round of the 2022 French Open.
Shapovalov has been rather inconsistent over the last few weeks. He kicked off his clay season at the Madrid Open, recording a straight-sets win over Ugo Humbert. However, he lost to former World No. 1 Andy Murray in the second round.
At the Italian Open, he overcame Lorenzo Sonego in three tough sets and followed it up with a straight-sets win over Nikoloz Basilashvili. It marked the first time since February that Shapovalov had won consecutive matches.
He was up against defending champion Rafael Nadal in the third round and stunned the Spaniard in three sets to knock him out of the tournament. However, he failed to build on that incredible win and lost to Casper Ruud in the quarterfinals.
Shapovalov then competed at the Geneva Open, where he received a first-round bye. Unfortunately, the Canadian was unable to replicate his form from the previous week, going down to Ilya Ivashka in three sets in the second round.
Holger Rune, meanwhile, has continued to make steady progress this year and that's reflected in his rise up the rankings. At the Monte-Carlo Masters, he qualified for the main draw and defeated Aslan Karatsev before losing to Casper Ruud in the second round. He then lost in the second round of the Serbia Open as well.
At the BMW Open in Munich, Rune defeated Jiri Lehecka in the first round. The 19-year-old then scored the biggest win of his career by defeating World No. 3 Alexander Zverev. Rune went on to lift the title, his first at the ATP level, albeit after his opponent in the final retired in the first set.
Rune was unable to sustain this form and failed to progress beyond the qualifying rounds of the Italian Open. He rebounded in style by making the semifinals of the Lyon Open before losing to Cameron Norrie in a challenging three-set contest. Rune is now set to make his debut at the French Open.
Denis Shapovalov vs Holger Rune head-to-head
This is set to be the first meeting between the two players, so the head-to-head stands at 0-0 for now.
Denis Shapovalov vs Holger Rune odds
All odds are sourced from BetMGM.
Denis Shapovalov vs Holger Rune prediction
Shapovalov is the higher-ranked and more experienced player, but Rune has performed better than the Canadian during the ongoing clay season. The teenager has compiled a 10-4 record across main-draw matches on European clay, while the Canadian's record stands at 4-3.
Rune is a former junior French Open champion as well, having won the title in 2019. Shapovalov, meanwhile, has competed in Paris thrice so far and has failed to progress beyond the second round. The Canadian has the game to blow his opponent off the court, but his inconsistency remains a cause for concern.
If his game clicks, it will be a treat for fans. His lefty serve packs a punch and his single-handed backhand is a sight to behold. However, when he's having an off day, which has often been the case in recent times, errors tend to pile up.
Rune, on the other hand, has a pretty mean forehand and is much more consistent during the rallies than the Canadian.
All of Shapovalov's early exits at the French Open have come against players ranked far lower than him. Given his inconsistency in the build-up to the tournament, a talented youngster like Rune is likely to send him packing early once more.
Pick: Holger Rune to win in five sets.