Fixture: Denis Shapovalov vs Gilles Simon
Date: 29 September 2020
Tournament: Roland Garros 2020
Round: First round (Round of 128)
Venue: Paris, France
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: Approx. €38,000,000
Match timing: Approx. 5.30 pm CEST, 9 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - NBC Sports / Tennis Channel | India - Star Sports Select / Disney + Hotstar VIP | France - Eurosport / france.tv sport | Canada - TSN
Denis Shapovalov vs Gilles Simon preview
Denis Shapovalov has had a remarkable turnaround in 2020, and is now being considered one of the players to beat at the French Open.
Shapovalov will begin his campaign at Roland Garros against home favorite Gilles Simon. The Frenchman has played five tournaments since the resumption of tennis, but failed to make it past the second round at any event.
Simon is a very experienced campaigner and has a decent record on clay. However, when it comes to his record against top 10 players, you have to go back to 2012 to find a Simon win on this surface.
Needless to say, the Frenchman will find it extremely tough against Denis Shapovalov, who seems to have found an extra gear recently on the red dirt. The Canadian began the year slowly with some surprising defeats, but has made amends by playing some of his finest tennis in recent weeks.
Shapovalov displayed maturity beyond his years at the Italian Open in Rome earlier this month. He constructed points beautifully as opposed to trying to finish them early, and was rewarded with a semifinal appearance.
The damp and cold conditions in Paris could help Shapovalov do well at this year’s French Open, as he has the muscle strength to hit through the heavy air. His game also has a lot more variety now which, along with his power, make him a formidable opponent.
Simon on the other hand is in the twilight of his career and isn’t the feared customer that he once was. That said, he could make use of his experience and counter-punching ability to trouble Shapovalov.
Denis Shapovalov vs Gilles Simon head-to-head
Denis Shapovalov leads Gilles Simon 1-0 in head-to-head matchups. The duo played each other at the Paris Masters in 2019, where Simon retired due to injury in the first set.
Denis Shapovalov vs Gilles Simon prediction
Denis Shapovalov's game is a treat to the eyes when he is playing well. The 21-year-old's one-handed backhand is one of the best in the business, while his serve is also a very potent weapon.
Gilles Simon meanwhile has seen a dip in quality on his return lately, and will have a tough time reading Shapovalov’s delivery. The Canadian's groundstrokes will also be extremely difficult for the 35-year-old to deal with.
Prediction: Denis Shapovalov to win in straight sets.Published 27 Sep 2020, 16:05 IST