Fixture: Diego Schwartzman vs Denis Shapovalov
Date: 20 September 2020
Tournament: Italian Open 2020
Venue: Rome, Italy
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €3,465,045
Match timing: Not before 7 pm CEST, 10.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony Six
Diego Schwartzman vs Denis Shapovalov preview
Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman did the unthinkable by knocking out the 'King of Clay' Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals of the 2020 Rome Masters. Now for a spot in the final, he will take on Canada’s Denis Shapovalov on Sunday.
Coming into the match against Nadal, Schwartzman trailed by a whopping margin of 0-9 in the head-to-head. But that statistic was thrown out of the window as the 8th seed put up arguably his finest performance ever to send Nadal packing.
The Argentine bullied Nadal with his on-the-rise rockets from the baseline, and at times even defended better than the Spaniard. To defeat Rafael Nadal is one thing but to completely outplay him is another, and that is exactly what Schwartzman did in his 6-2, 7-5 victory.
Denis Shapovalov meanwhile is into his fifth career Masters 1000 semis, in what has been a good claycourt swing for him so far. The Canadian got the better of Grigor Dimitrov in three sets on Saturday to set up the clash with Schwartzman.
Shapovalov has been making excellent use of his wide-swinging serve this week, winning a lot of easy points on his first serve. And his groundstrokes, while powerful as always, have had a little more spin than usual - thus helping him stay in rallies longer.
Schwartzman, however, will be an entirely different proposition for Shapovalov as the Argentine has been brilliant in almost all departments of the game. If Schwartzman manages to bring a similar level against Shapovalov as he did against Nadal, then the Canadian will be in for a rather long night.
Diego Schwartzman vs Denis Shapovalov head-to-head
Diego Schwartzman and Denis Shapovalov have never faced each other on tour, so the head-to-head between the two players currently stands at 0-0.
Diego Schwartzman vs Denis Shapovalov prediction
Against Rafael Nadal, Diego Schwartzman was not only striking the ball to perfection but also moving exceptionally well. At times he left the legendary Spaniard flat-footed with his unexpected recovery runs and returns, and needless to say Shapovalov could have a similar problem on Sunday.
Schwartzman, however, will not be able to tee off on his groundstrokes too easily against the Canadian given that Shapovalov hits a much flatter ball than Nadal. If the 21-year-old can keep his shots consistently low, that might pose a few tricky questions of Schwartzman.
For Shapovalov, the key would be to attack the Schwartzman serve - which isn’t the toughest to deal with. If he manages to return well, he can put pressure on Schwartzman in practically every game - given that his own serve is a formidable weapon.
The result on Sunday will likely hinge on whether Shapovalov can maintain the consistency on his groundstrokes while Schwartzman is making him hit dozens of them in a row. If the Canadian fails to keep his shots in the court during the longer rallies, Schwartzman will likely make him pay.
Prediction: Diego Schwartzman to win in three sets.