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Alexander Zverev vs Denis Shapovalov ATP Montreal tennis preview, predictions and tips: The future is now in Montreal Masters semi-finals

Bettingpro Staff 12 Aug 2017
  • Alexander Zverev vs Denis Shapovalov is live from Montreal at 8.00pm local time on Saturday (1.00am BST, Sunday)
  • First meeting between the Next Generation stars
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Montreal at bet365 > sports > live streaming tennis
Alexander Zverev (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Alexander Zverev puts his eight-match winning streak on the line when he takes on Canadian teenage sensation Denis Shapovalov in the Coupe Rogers semi-finals in Montreal on Saturday night.

Watch and bet on Zverev vs Shapovalov live from Montreal at bet365 > sports > live streaming tennis. Their semi-final clash begins at 8.00pm local time on Saturday (1.00am BST, Sunday).

Forget the inaugural season-ending championships in Milan, the stars of the Next Generation take centre stage inside the Uniprix Stadium in Montreal on Saturday night as 20-year-old Alexander Zverev squares off against 18-year-old Denis Shapovalov. The fairytale run of Shapovalov has enthralled and captivated not only Canada, but the entire tennis community this week, with the boom teenager enjoying the week of his life in creating history to advance to his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final. Can he extend his dream run against Washington champion Zverev, who has won his last eight matches and is aiming to make a second Masters 1000 final of 2017 after his triumph in Rome earlier this year. Shapovalov and Zverev take to court at 8.00pm local time on Saturday (1.00am BST, Sunday).

This time last week Denis Shapovalov was losing in the semi-finals of a Challenger event in Granby to his elder compatriot Peter Polansky. Fast forward seven days and the 18-year-old has taken the scalps of four established ATP veterans, including Juan Martin del Potro and Rafael Nadal, to become the youngest ATP Masters 1000 quarter-finalist and semi-finalist in history. It’s safe to say it’s been a whirlwind week for the rising star, but who’s to say it will come to an end on Saturday night?

After saving four match points in his first round win over Rogerio Dutra Silva, Shapovalov produced a stellar performance to take down former US Open champion del Potro in straight sets in the second round, but it was his sensational third round dispatch of 14-time grand slam champion Nadal that officially catapulted the Canadian into headlines across the world. Shapovalov recovered from a set down and 0-3 in the deciding set tiebreak and showcased nerves of steel and composure beyond his years to upstage Nadal, and he demonstrated those same traits on Friday night in his quarter-final encounter with the unorthodox Adrian Mannarino.

Shapovalov was understandably a little flat after his huge win over Nadal, and Mannarino played a very intelligent match to begin the contest, moving the teenager around with some smart baseline exchanges, letting Shapovalov make unforced errors as he struggled to find his range. But after succumbing the opening set 2-6, Shapovalov started swinging more freely, and once he got the crowd involved, he gained a second wind. The 18-year-old raced through an efficient second set 6-3 before riding that momentum into the decider, feeding off the energy of an electric Montreal crowd to break Mannarino at 4-4 and successfully serve out the match to make his first Masters 1000 semi-final.

“I’ve been against the wall a couple times this week. I'm very happy I've come out several times just playing really good tennis in those situations," Shapovalov said. "I think it really shows how I've improved mentally along with just finding my game at the right moments."

Projected to rise from 143 in the world to around No. 67 regardless of Saturday’s result (and also up to fourth place in the Next Gen race to Milan), Shapovalov looks to continue his dream run against a more established youngster who has quietly been making even more statements this week in Montreal.

Denis Shapovalov (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Alexander Zverev recorded his 44th victory of the season after beating Kevin Anderson for the second time in a week, chopping down the big-serving South African 7-5 6-4 on Friday night to advance into his first semi-final in Canada. It wasn’t the cleanest of matches from Zverev, but the 20-year-old still managed to come away with a relatively routine straight sets victory, which doubled as his eighth consecutive win after he also defeated Anderson to win the ATP 500 Citi Open title in Washington D.C. last week.

Zverev’s run to the semi-finals is even more impressive when you remember his Montreal opener at the start of the week, with the German saving three match points against Richard Gasquet, including during an epic 49-shot rally, to fight his way into the third round, where he then posted his first win over Nick Kyrgios in a clinical and workmanlike performance.

Unlike his opponent on Saturday, Zverev has experience playing at this stage of a Masters 1000 event. We are of course talking about his memorable tournament in Rome during the clay season, with Zverev overcoming Novak Djokovic in straight sets in the final to become the youngest Masters 1000 champion since the Serbian prevailed in Miami over a decade ago. That result propelled Zverev, who had earlier won ATP titles in Montpellier and Munich, into the top 10 for the first time, and if he can beat Shapovalov on Saturday, he will rise to a career-high No. 7 in the world.

“He's doing an amazing job of getting to the semis here. He's so young. He's playing amazing tennis,” Zverev said of Shapovalov. “I'm going to try play the best tennis that I can, to make it difficult for him. It's going to be, hopefully, a great match.”

Unsurprisingly, this will be their first match on tour - and what a way for Zverev and Shapovalov to begin what could be one of the biggest rivalries in tennis over the next 10 years. Shapovalov’s run is one of the stories of the season to date, and the atmosphere inside the Uniprix Stadium has been absolutely electric when he gets going. If the 18-year-old can maintain that level and energy, we could be in for another cracking contest. But, is it asking too much of the teenager to keep producing this sort of tennis when all of this is so new to him? Zverev has been there and done that before at Masters 1000 level - and that could be the difference in the end…

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Alexander Zverev vs Denis Shapovalov ATP Montreal tennis preview, predictions and tips: The future is now in Montreal Masters semi-finals

Alexander Zverev puts his eight-match winning streak on the line when he takes on Canadian teenage sensation Denis Shapovalov in the Coupe Rogers semi-finals in Montreal on Saturday night.

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