Ending the day session on Rod Laver Arena will be the matchup between six-time champion Novak Djokovic and one of the game’s rising stars, Denis Shapovalov. The Canadian is one of the most promising young players on tour, already making the top 30 at an age where few players do. It will be his first third round here, having only won one match at last year’s tournament. Check out the Djokovic vs Shapovalov stats.
Shapovalov has an engaging brand of tennis and has won many fans in his dramatic rise up the rankings, most famously making the semi finals of the Canada Masters in 2017 with a win over Rafael Nadal in the process. 2018 ended badly for him with five losses from six but he has bounced back this season with two comfortable wins this week. He was efficient in his victory over Taro Daniel, converting both break opportunities while denying all 7 of his opponent’s in a 6-3 7-6 6-3 win over the Japanese. “I think it was another exceptional match for me. Obviously he’s a very tough opponent. I knew that going in. I knew it was going to be tough. I’m really happy to get through that in straight sets. I’m really proud today.” he said. “I think I’ve been serving really, really well the last couple days.”
Djokovic continued his rivalry against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga with another win over the Frenchman in round two. He will be pleased with a victory that saw him break the wildcard five times overall against an opponent for whom rank does not currently tell the whole story. The Serbian has come a long way in the last 12 months, following his early exit last year. “I think probably one of the biggest lessons I had to learn is really patience, trusting life, trusting the process that things will come, that things will I guess get to a point where I want to be or where I would like to achieve or how I want to play. I just needed to trust the process, be patient.” he said.
“I’m definitely going to try to look at players similar to my game style. I’ll take a look back at Paris against Khachanov where Khachanov actually managed to beat him, what he was doing well, what was troubling Novak.” Shapovalov said on his plan for Djokovic, showcasing the level of preparation he takes part in for such a big match. There is only so much Shapovalov will be able to do if his opponent is at his unstoppable peak but the match still provides the opportunity for the Canadian to once again test himself against the best in the game right now.
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in 4 sets