Fixture: (1) Denis Shapovalov vs Corentin Moutet
Date: 29 April 2021
Tournament: Millennium Estoril Open 2021
Round: Second round (Round of 16)
Venue: Estoril, Portugal
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €419,470
Match timing: Approx. 3 pm local time, 7.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Denis Shapovalov vs Corentin Moutet preview
Denis Shapovalov has not been in particularly great form since the start of the 2021 season. After early exits at the ATP Cup and Australian Open, the Canadian bowed out early in Doha and Miami too. He did make it to the semifinals in Dubai, but even there he ended up losing a match that many expected him to win.
Shapovalov will now be looking to continue his improvement on clay, after having reached the semifinals of the Rome Masters last year. The 22-year-old is one of the favorites to win the title in Estoril, even though he made a third-round exit at the Barcelona Open last week.
Shapovalov takes on France's Corentin Moutet in his first hurdle at Estoril on Thursday.
Moutet started the year in strong fashion, reaching the semifinals of the tune-up event in Melbourne. But the Frenchman then bowed out of the Australian Open early, and returned to competitive action only at Monte Carlo earlier this month.
Moutet lost in the first round in the Principality, following which he reached the third round at the Barcelona Open - where was defeated by Diego Schwartzman. The 22-year-old has made a decent start in Estoril, outlasting Marcos Giron in three tight sets to set up the Round of 16 encounter against Shapovalov.
Denis Shapovalov vs Corentin Moutet head-to-head
This will be the first ever match between Denis Shapovalov and Corentin Moutet, so their head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Denis Shapovalov vs Corentin Moutet prediction
Despite having displayed some indifferent form this year, Denis Shapovalov is the favorite for his match against Corentin Moutet on Thursday.
Shapovalov has admitted that he is not at the same level on clay as he was in Rome six months ago. That said, he has been making steady progress on the slower surfaces over the past few years.
The Canadian's serve and booming groundstrokes help him hit through his opponents even on clay, and his movement has been improving too.
Moutet, on his part, possesses a lot of weapons that can make life complicated for Shapovalov. The Frenchman is a lefty himself, which would help nullifying his opponent's angles on serve. His foot speed and defense also give him a distinct edge on slower surfaces, helping him grind out the longer exchanges.
However, given Moutet's rustiness, it is hard to see him get anything out of the encounter against the Canadian.
Prediction: Denis Shapovalov to win in straight sets.