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Shapovalov vs Herbert ATP Montpellier Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Young gun, Shapovalov contests first quarter final of the season

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 7 Feb 2019
  • Denis Shapovalov vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert is live from Montpellier on Friday, 8 February from 3:30pm local time/ 2:30pm GMT
  • First ever meeting between Shapovalov and Herbert
Denis Shapovalov. (Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images)

Canadian young gun, Denis Shapovalov contests his first quarter final of the season on Friday as he takes on Frenchman, Pierre-Hugues Herbert at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier. 

After leading Canada to victory over in the Davis Cup over the weekend, beating Martin Klizan and Filip Horansky as Canada won 3-2 in Bratislava to qualify for November's finals in Madrid, Shapovalov returned to ATP World Tour action in Montpellier on Thursday, beating Spanish veteran, Marcel Granollers 6-4 7-6.

In his first ever match at the ATP 250 tournament, Shapovalov was outstanding on serve, dropping just nine points behind his deliveries, and facing no break points throughout the contest. In fact, break points were at a premium at both ends on Thursday, with Granollers facing just two all match. Both came in the pivotal tenth game of the first set, and Shapovalov converted the second to take the set. The second set featured no break points through 12 games, but it was Shapovalov who raised his game the breaker, winning six points in a row from 1-1 to take the win.

“Today was a really good match,” said Shapovalov after the match. “I think we were both serving well. It was tough to get a rhythm, but I’m very happy how I managed to play at the end.”

Expectations soared after Shapovalov first broke into the main tour in the fall of 2017, when he reached the semi-finals of the Rogers Cup (after beating Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro within a stunning week), and then reaching the fourth round of the US Open. He did a good job of consolidating that breakthrough in 2018- he wasn't spectacular but he had a decent enough campaign, reaching semifinals in Madrid, Delray Beach and Tokyo, moving into the top 30 as a result.

The world No. 25 began the 2019 season in Auckland, where he lost to Joao Sousa in the opening round, but he rebounded to beat Pablo Andujar and Taro Daniel at the Australian Open, before falling to Novak Djokovic in the Round of 32.

The 19-year-old stopped by in Bratislava to help his country qualify for the Davis Cup final, before heading to Montpellier for his debut campaign at the Open Sud de France.

He started well enough, beating Marcel Granollers; can he extend his stay with victory over Herbert on Friday?


Pierre-Hugues Herbert. (Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images)
Herbert is better known more for his work in doubles, but he has made a decent start to the season in singles' action, opening with a quarter final in Doha, where he beat Dominic Thiem and Maximilian Marterer before falling to Tomas Berdych, and then making the third round of the Australian Open, taking out former Grand Slam semi-finalists, Sam Querrey and Hyeon Chung before losing to Milos Raonic.

He has made his second quarter final of the year in Montpellier, beating Denis Kudla and Ilya Ivashka to get into the last eight. He dropped just three games in a dominant win over Kudla in the first round, but he had to dig deeper for his second round win over Ivashka, fighting back from a set down to win 4-6 6-4 6-2.

Herbert has 14 doubles titles, but he is yet to get off the mark in singles, with the closest he came being Winston-Salem in 2015 (lost to Kevin Anderson) and Shenzhen last year (lost to Yoshihito Nishioka). Aside the Shenzhen final, his other noteworthy performances last season were a third-round run at Roland Garros, fourth round at Indian Wells, and quarter finals in Pune and Antalya- good enough to help him secure a year-end ranking of 55, the highest he'd ever finished a season.

Herbert has already broken into the top 50 this year, occupying a career-high mark of 44th heading into Montpellier- can he keep climbing by beating Shapovalov in their first ever meeting on Friday?

Shapovalov hits bigger, but Herbert is a very smart player, who serves well, and comes to the net quite often, using his excellent hands to finish off points. That part of his game will be crucial, as it's his best route to victory, but I still expect Shapovalov to be too powerful for the Frenchman on Friday.

Denis Shapovalov vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert is live from Montpellier on Friday, 8 February from 3:30pm local time/ 2:30pm GMT

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Shapovalov vs Herbert ATP Montpellier Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Young gun, Shapovalov contests first quarter final of the season

Canadian young gun, Denis Shapovalov plays his first ATP World Tour quarter final of the year on Friday when he takes on Pierre-Hugues Herbert. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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