Rafael Nadal meets Denis Shapovalov in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. The two guys are entering this clash with the same goal, which is to win and reach the semis. After that, anything is possible. Nadal is a favorite here, but don’t forget so was Zverev against Shapo. The Canadian rolled over the German, indicating that he didn’t come to Melbourne to be only a tourist. Meanwhile, Rafa seeks his 21st Grand Slam title, which would break a tie with Federer and Novak Djokovic, who might not be in the position to play Grand Slams again.
Denis Shapovalov (+310) is the 14th seed in Australia, and so far, he’s been posting excellent performances. Some of them suggest that he should be placed higher on the seeding list. The way he defeated Zverev, who was, by the way, one of the top favorites for clinching the title, was impressive.
Shapo won in straight sets, 6-3 7-6(5) 6-3, not leaving the slightest chance for Alex to make some sort of a comeback or anything similar. His return was quite good, having in mind that Zverev’s average speed of the first serve was 202 km/h, and he somewhat neutralized the rival in that aspect of play.
The Canadian also had almost twice as many winners, 35, compared to Zverev’s 18. This was his first match in which he didn’t lose a set. He would previously defeat Laslo Djere in the first round, 3-1, then had a marathon against Soon Woo Kwon that lasted for five sets, three of them tie breaks, before beating Reilly Opelka with 3-1.
On the other hand, Rafael Nadal (-270) lost just one set. That was in the third round against Karen Khachanov, when the Russian managed to snap the third sequence of the event, but his spark didn’t last for too long. Nadal was merciless in the very next set, in which he gave only one game to his opponent.
In the opening two rounds, Rafa defeated Marcos Giron and Yannick Hafmann. His most recent rival was Adrian Mannarino, whom he defeated 3-0, but had to endure a very tough opening set. Nadal and the French player entered a tie-break which ended 14-12 for the Spaniard.
Nadal is in very good shape, and he already proved that by winning the AO warm-up in Adelaide. He didn’t lose a set back then, but on the other hand, his rivals weren’t that impressive.
Head to Head
These two guys have met four times so far, and the result is 3-1 for Nadal. We are not going to include the 2019 Paris Masters walk over Shapo had following Nadal’s withdrawal. Dennis’ only win was in their first clash, back in 2017 at the Canadian Masters. The last match was in 2021 in Rome, when Nadal won 2-1.
Shapovalov is in great shape, and we are more than sure that it won’t be a piece of cake for Nadal to win here. Suppose he triumphs in the first place. For the moment, the odds on Shapo taking at least one set are -220, and that is the best possible bet here for us.
Pick: Shapovalov to win a set -200
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.