Denis Shapovalov vs Felix Auger-Aliassime US Open Picks 8/27/2019
Denis Shapovalov vs Felix Auger-Aliassime
10 am EST, 27th August 2019
New York, NY (USA)
A couple of bad news for Canadian tennis right at the beginning of the US Open. First, they lost their No.2 guy Milos Raonic, who was forced to withdraw from the tournament because of the glute injury. That same injury was the reason why he retired from his second-round match vs Auger Aliassime in Montreal. The other bad thing is Shapovalov and FAA facing each other in the first round already. Expectations for both very pretty high, so they can't be happy about losing one of them in the first round already.
Shapovalov didn't make an expected breakthrough this year. His ranking dropped a couple of spots, comparing to the same period last year. That is why he decided to make some changes, mostly regarding his coaching staff. In Winston Salem, we could see Mikhail Youzhny in his box. Hiring "The Colonel" as his coach would be a very bald move, considering he retired recently and doesn't have much experience with coaching. But, considering the brilliance that the Russian possessed as a player, he has enough knowledge about the game to tweak things in Shapovalov's game and point him in the right direction. Getting into the quarterfinals last week, after two strong wins over Sandgren and Kecmanovic might be an indication of better times for Denis in the near future.
Auger-Aliassime turned 19 just a couple of weeks ago. It makes his success this season even more impressive then it already is. In some of the tournaments, he showed incredible potential. One that might get him to the very top of men's tennis one day. But right now, he is ranked 19th in the world. And it seems like he is not in the best form at the moment. Since the beginning of the American hard-court swing, he wasn't able to get past the round of 16. He is coming to New York after an ugly defeat to Miomir Kecmanovic in Cincinnati. Inconsistency is something he will have to work on in the future in order to maximize all that potential.
Draw decided that they are going to play in the first round of the US Open for the second year in the row! Last year, Shapovalov was a huge favorite, because he was ranked much higher than his fellow countrymen. He justified that role with a win after Felix retired in the third set. But this year, younger of the two Canadians, managed to revenge that loss (2-0 in Madrid) and level their all-time H2H record to 2-all.
When we compare their game styles, they are not that different, if we disregard the fact that they are playing with opposite hands. Both are pretty aggressive, trying to set the pace during the rallies with powerful groundstrokes. Shapovalov is using more topspin when going cross-court with his forehand, which is not an easy shot to deal with. We'll see if Auger-Aliassime has an answer ready for it.
Betting odds & prediction
The opener was -149, favoring Denis Shapovalov. Market's reaction was quite significant, because the line at the moment is close to evens. Bettors are obviously liking Felix, his upside and his great record this year. But, those are things that will have very little impact on the match, when they step on the court tomorrow. The opening line might have been an overreaction to Shapovalov's performance in Winston Salem last week. But such a big move afterward was another overreaction, while the "truth" is probably somewhere in between. I must acknowledge some improvement in Shapovalov's performance, which was most likely triggered by the changes in his coaching staff. While Auger-Aliassime's form is a bit of a mistery at the moment.
Pick: Denis Shapovalov -103
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