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Shapovalov vs Granollers tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Shapovalov up against veteran journeyman in Montpellier

Hannah Wilks in ATP Tour 6 Feb 2019
  • Third seed Denis Shapovalov faces Marcel Granollers in the second round of the Open Sud de France on Thursday
  • Shapovalov vs Granollers is live from Montpellier on Thursday at 2pm local/1pm GMT
Denis Shapovalov (Photo by VLADIMIR SIMICEK / AFP)

Denis Shapovalov starts his campaign for a first ATP Tour title at the Open Sud de France on Thursday when he faces veteran Marcel Granollers.

World no. 25 Denis Shapovalov begins his ATP Montpellier campaign on Thursday as he takes on Spanish veteran Marcel Granollers for a place in the quarterfinals.

Denis Shapovalov in action during Canada's Davis Cup tie against Slovakia (Photo by VLADIMIR SIMICEK / AFP) 
Canada’s Shapovalov comes into Montpellier after having spent two days at the end of last week representing his country in their qualifying tie against Slovakia. Shapovalov scored singles victories over Martin Klizan and Filip Horansky, the former levelling the tie at 2-2 before Felix Auger-Aliassime won the decisive fifth rubber to put Canada into November’s Davis Cup finals.

The 19-year-old Shapovalov is currently ranked just two places below his career-high ranking of world no. 25 and had a very strong season for a young man who is still a teenager in 2018, making a Masters 1000 Series semifinal in Madrid, playing semifinals in Tokyo and Delray Beach and making the last 16 at four Masters 1000 Series events. Nevertheless, there seems to be a sense in some quarters that Shapovalov has underwhelmed since his initial breakthrough at the Canada Masters in 2017.

That might be due to how brilliant that breakthrough was, with Shapovalov beating Juan Martin del Potro and Rafael Nadal on his way to the semifinals in Montreal, but overall I find it unfair to the Canadian, who has consolidated his position inside the top 30 nicely despite struggling, as he admitted in Melbourne, with the increased expectation and scrutiny on him. 

Shapovalov’s season didn’t start auspiciously with defeat to Joao Sousa in Auckland, but he matched his seeding at the Australian Open, beating Pablo Andujar and Taro Daniel to make the third round where he lost to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in four sets.

Making his Open Sud de France debut in 2019, Shapovalov has at least had the benefit of playing indoor matches recently, although that Davis Cup tie was played on clay and not the hard courts of Montpellier.

First up for the third seed is Spanish veteran Marcel Granollers, who came through a three-set, three-tie break match with Ivo Karlovic in the first round.

Thirteen years older than Shapovalov at 32, Granollers is a familiar face on the ATP Tour, although he comes into this year’s Open Sud de France ranked world no. 111. 

A top-20 player in 2012, the most recent of Granollers’s four ATP Tour career titles came in 2013 when he won in Kitzbuhel, and his last ATP Tour final was in Casablanca in 2014. Granollers made the round of 16 at Roland Garros in 2016 – via a win over Fabio Fognini, a retirement and then a walkover from Nadal – and ended that season inside the top 40, but struggled badly in 2017: He won just three of his first 19 matches of the year, and by July was out of the top 100 and had dropped down to the Challenger Tour. 

Marcel Granollers (Photo by Denis Charlet / AFP)
Granollers spent the vast majority of his time in 2018 on the Challenger Tour – he only played seven ATP Tour-level events out of 20 – and had a strong season, winning back-to-back Challengers in Bangkok in January and making semifinals in Launceston, Nottingham, Winnipeg and Binghampton as well as a final in Tiburon; he also reached an ATP Tour semifinal at the post-Wimbledon grass-court event in Newport, where he beat top seed Adrian Mannarino before losing to Steve Johnson.

Defeated in the first round of the Maharashtra Open in January by wildcard Ramkunar Ramanathan, Granollers won a Challenger title in Da Nang in the second week of the season (where the highest-ranked player he faced was world no. 289 Matteo Viola in the final) but lost to Marius Copil in the first round of the Australian Open and to a player ranked outside the top 300 in the first round of last week’s Quimper Challenger.

Granollers has a 69-139 record against players ranked inside the top 50, but he’s 1-7 in such matches in the past two seasons and hasn’t been playing his best tennis. The Spaniard could still be a tough opponent, but one would expect him to be more so if this match was being played on clay – the surface on which three of his four ATP career titles have come – than on indoor hard courts which should give the advantage to Shapovalov. The two have never faced each other before, and recovering from the emotion of a Davis Cup weekend can be tough, but one feels that it should still be Shapovalov who comes through to the quarterfinals in Montpellier. 

Shapovalov vs Granollers Open Sud de France tennis is live from Montpellier at 2pm local/1pm GMT on Thursday

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Shapovalov vs Granollers tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Shapovalov up against veteran journeyman in Montpellier

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