Sunday’s schedule has a number of intriguing third round clashes between seeds on the men’s side but the early afternoon clash between Taylor Fritz and Denis Shapovalov looks like one that could go either way. They have faced off eight times overall with the Canadian currently leading 5-3 although the tide has been turning since Fritz overtook in the rankings.
Shapovalov will be eager to get a good run going having lost five of his last six matches before this tournament. Needing three sets to beat a Guido Pella with only eight matches since November 2021 will not do a lot to inspire but a win is a win and it may at least provide some confidence for the 23 year-old.
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Emilio Nava had picked up one win against a big serving fellow American in John Isner but Fritz ensured it would not be two with a dominant display against the youngster. He hit 8 aces in the 6-4 6-1 victory to move to 18-4 on the season as he looks to maintain his Top 10 spot that is still somewhat under threat from the likes of Jannik Sinner and Hubert Hurkacz.
Shapovalov has often upped his game against top players but struggled against the lesser players he would expected to beat so a Top 10 opponent may be what the Canadian needs to get his season back on track. However, Fritz is looking far steadier and consistent these days and will always be reliable when it comes to serving. A repeat of their Acapulco clash would be no surprise with Fritz taking that 6-4 6-4 on his way to the semi finals.
Prediction – Taylor Fritz in straight sets
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