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Shapovalov vs Rublev ATP Winston-Salem live streaming, preview and tips - Shapovalov continues bid to make first ATP final against in-form Rublev

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 23 Aug 2019
  • Denis Shapovalov vs Andrey Rublev is live from Winston-Salem around 2.00pm local time on Friday (7.00pm BST)
  • Their head-to-head is level at 1-1, with Shapovalov winning their last clash in Miami this season
Denis Shapovalov (PA Images)

Rising stars Denis Shapovalov and Andrey Rublev square off for a spot in the Winston-Salem Open semi-finals on Friday after play was abandoned on Thursday due to heavy rain.

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Denis Shapovalov and Andrey Rublev, two of the ATP’s best young talents, clash in the Winston-Salem Open quarter-finals on Friday.

Shapovalov has registered back-to-back victories for the first time since March this week, advancing into the quarter-finals without dropping set, beating Tennys Sandgren 6-2 6-4 and fellow young gun Miomir Kecmanovic 6-2 6-3. The 20-year-old won 80 per cent of points on serve and saved four of six break points as he conceded just five games against Kecmanovic, somebody who he has played countless times in juniors.

“Miomir is a very tough opponent. I've played him a lot in the past. We've had some crazy battles,” said Shapovalov. “I’m really happy with the way I'm playing.”

It’s been a tough last few months for Shapovalov, but perhaps the spark to turn things around has come in the form of Mikhail Youzhny - the Russian former World No. 8 who is coaching the Canadian on a trial basis through until the end of the U.S. Open. Youzhny only retired at the end of last year, but so far he is having a positive effect on Shapovalov, who while immensely talented, is still trying to find the right balance in his explosive his game to become a consistent force on tour.

Shapovalov first burst onto the scene two years ago in Montreal when he conquered Juan Martin del Potro and Rafael Nadal to surge into his maiden Masters 1000 semi-final, before reaching the fourth round of the U.S. Open and ending his breakout season in the top 50. Shapovalov would go on to reach the Madrid Masters semi-finals the following season and generally did a solid job of establishing himself on the ATP World Tour, reaching more semi-finals in Delray Beach and Tokyo, quarter-finals in Eastbourne and St. Petersburg and making the fourth round in Miami and Rome Masters. However, apart from his semi-final run at the Miami Masters in March, Shapovalov has struggled to make an impact in 2019. Could he possibly make his first tour-level final this week in Winston-Salem?

Andrey Rublev (PA Images)
He’ll have to beat another Next Generation star to make the final four. Andrey Rublev is back playing some of his best tennis after injuries have disrupted his progression up the rankings over the last 18 months or so and has survived some tough battles to earn his place in the Winston-Salem quarter-finals this week, firstly defeating Thomas Fabbiano in straight sets before overcoming Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-7(5) 6-3 6-1 and Sam Querrey 7-6(4) 7-6(10) in a match that finished after midnight.


"It's a special win for me," said Rublev, who suffered a loss to Querrey at Wimbledon in straight sets. "He just destroyed me, and now we had a great fight, and we were both so close and I was a little bit more lucky."

Rublev was actually the first member of the ‘Next Gen’ to make a Grand Slam quarter-final when he did so at the 2017 U.S. Open, which contributed to a career-high ranking of No. 31 in the early stages of 2018, but unfortunately the 21-year-old has been struck down by injuries ever since - firstly suffering from stress fractures in his lower back last year, which caused him to miss several months, while he was also sidelined for six weeks this year with a wrist injury. Rublev, who won his first ATP title as a lucky loser in Umag in 2017, dropped out of the top 100 briefly this season as a result, but he managed to get back inside the top 50 last month when he scored his first top five win over Dominic Thiem to make his maiden ATP 500 final in Hamburg, losing to Nikoloz Basilashvili, while he posted his second top five scalp last week in Cincinnati, taking out Roger Federer in straight sets for the biggest win of his young career.

It’s great to see Rublev back playing some of his best tennis, but I slightly worry that he’s playing too much ahead of the U.S. Open, especially after all the emotional and physical energy he spent last week in Cincinnati. Add in a midnight finish in his last match, and I think Shapovalov might have the edge, at least physically, on Friday - although the unscheduled day's rest on Thursday will certainly help the Russian.. Rublev has been playing better tennis recently, but Shapovalov is thriving under the guidance of Youzhny and this looms as a great chance to make his first ATP final.


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Shapovalov vs Rublev ATP Winston-Salem live streaming, preview and tips - Shapovalov continues bid to make first ATP final against in-form Rublev

Rising stars Denis Shapovalov and Andrey Rublev square off for a spot in the Winston-Salem Open semi-finals on Friday.

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