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Raonic vs Shapovalov ATP Cincinnati live streaming, preview and tips - Canadian stars clash for quarter-final spot

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 16 Aug 2018
  • Milos Raonic vs Denis Shapovalov is live from Cincinnati at 11.00am local time on Thursday (4.00pm BST)
  • Shapovalov won their only previous contest in Madrid earlier this season
Milos Raonic (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Milos Raonic attempts to avenge a loss in Madrid to Denis Shapovalov when the two Canadian stars clash for a spot in the Cincinnati Masters quarter-finals on Thursday.

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An all-Canadian encounter awaits at the Western & Southern Open on Thursday as former World No. 3 Milos Raonic squares off against rising star Denis Shapovalov. With Felix Auger-Aliassime continuing to make huge strides up the rankings, Canada are on their way to becoming a genuine heavyweight tennis nation and a big contender for future Davis Cup crowns (or whatever the competition becomes in the future…). Who will claim bragging right in Cincinnati and a quarter-final showdown with either Wimbledon winner Novak Djokovic or defending champion Grigor Dimitrov?

Raonic has always played well in Cincinnati. The former Wimbledon runner-up is 11-5 at the Masters 1000 tournament, making the quarter-finals on debut with wins over Richard Gasquet and Tomas Berdych in 2012 (lost to Stan Wawrinka), reaching the Round of 16 in 2013 and the semi-finals in 2014 and 2016, where he lost to Roger Federer and Andy Murray respectively. It’s taken some of the best players in the world to stop Raonic in Cincinnati, so that gives you an indication of the task in front of Shapovalov on Thursday.

But we also must remember that Raonic isn’t playing anywhere close to the level he is capable of. Injuries ruined his 2017 season after his career-best 2016 year in which he made the Wimbledon final and finished the season at No. 3 in the world, with Raonic currently ranked No. 29 after also struggling for much of 2018. The 27-year-old actually has a solid 21-9 record for the season with a runner-up finish in Stuttgart, a semi-final at Indian Wells and quarter-finals at Wimbledon and Miami, but he just hasn’t been able to generate any sustained patches of greatness.

A second round defeat to Frances Tiafoe at his home Canada Masters last week in Toronto was also disappointing - can Raonic make up for it by going deep in Cincinnati? He’s already registered two routine victories over Dusan Lajovic and lucky loser Malek Jaziri to make the Round of 16.

Denis Shapovalov (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Shapovalov meanwhile is playing the main draw of the Cincinnati Masters for the very first time - and he’s advanced into the Round of 16 with two hard-fought wins over members of the younger generation, edging Tiafoe 7-5 in the third and overcoming Australian Open semi-finalist Kyle Edmund in straight sets on his fifth match point. Shapovalov almost lost the plot against Edmund (not the first time that’s happened if you have a good memory!), as he blew a 4-0 lead in the second set, but he eventually got the job done 6-4 7-5 to set up Thursday’s showdown with Raonic.


Starting 2017 outside the world’s top 250, Shapovalov stunned the tennis world with a series of explosive displays at the Montreal Masters last year, conquering Juan Martin del Potro and Rafael Nadal in the same tournament as a teenager to make his first Masters 1000 semi-final, while he backed that performance up by reaching the fourth round of the U.S. Open as a qualifier. After also reaching the Madrid Masters semi-finals this season, Shapovalov was pretty quiet until returning to Canada for the Rogers Cup last week - and although he was solid with wins over Jeremy Chardy and Fabio Fognini, he couldn’t match his exploits from 12 months ago as he was eliminated in straight sets by Robin Haase in the Round of 16.

Down to No. 32 in the world as a result, can Shapovalov make it back into the top 30 by beating Raonic on Thursday? He already owns one win over his countryman, beating Raonic on his way to the Madrid semi-finals, but hardcourt should favour the World No. 3 more in this match-up. Raonic likes the conditions in Cincinnati, is generally more steady and I think he’s playing just a tad better than the youngster at the moment. I like Raonic’s chances to tough out the win.


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Raonic vs Shapovalov ATP Cincinnati live streaming, preview and tips - Canadian stars clash for quarter-final spot

Milos Raonic attempts to avenge a loss in Madrid to Denis Shapovalov when the two Canadian stars clash for a spot in the Cincinnati Masters quarter-finals on Thursday.

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