A match between two lefties, if not a rarity, is always a feast to watch. Shapovalov’s explosive game is as entertaining as it is effective, and Corentin Moutet’s tactical skills are sure to give both players a chance to show the best of their respective games. Shapovalov is the first seed at Estoril, and he is playing his first match of the tournament tomorrow. On the other hand, Moutet was forced to grind through a tight three-setter against American Marcos Giron yesterday, so he will have some experience (and perhaps a bit of fatigue) to carry into this match.
Denis Shapovalov and Corentin Moutet have never played a match before
Shapovalov is 10-8 in 2021, with a notable five-setter victory against Jannik Sinner
Moutet is 8-4 in 2021, with a notable five-setter victory against John Millman
Shapovalov is 1-1 on clay in 2021
Moutet is 3-2 on clay in 2021
Shapovalov has had a limited amount of experience on clay this year, beating only Jeremy Chardy in Barcelona last week. During his subsequent match against compatriot Auger-Aliassime, he threw in six double faults and zero aces to lose 2-6 3-6. Luckily, Moutet is not as big of a server as Auger-Aliassime. Shapovalov needs to gain control of the points early and approach the net by anticipating Moutet’s serve out wide. He should also take advantage of his power and hit directly through the center of the court to force as many short balls from the Frenchman as possible.
Compared to the Canadian, Moutet has had more clay-court experience this year, beating out a hard-hitting Koepfer and then Dan Evans in Barcelona. He had a fantastic serve percentage against Koepfer (98% - wow!), and while his serve lacks speed, he makes up for it in spin. Against Koepfer, he utilized his drop shot to the max. He also boasts a fantastic return game that could be very troublesome for Shapovalov. In truth, Moutet just needs to keep delivering the dropshots and the amazing serve returns, while maintaining a high serve percentage, to give him the best chance of beating out the number one seed.
Round 1 | def. Giron 6-4 6-7 (7) 6-4
It’s going to be a lefty battle between two young talents on the tour this week. Denis Shapovalov’s game is easily described in one word: POWER. But Corentin Moutet’s game is a little less iconic. He possesses quick foot speed, lots of topspin on both wings and a deadly dropshot, all of which are well-suited for clay. Shapovalov has admitted that he’s not at the same level on clay as he was in the Italian open six months ago. Although there is a fairly large ranking gap between these two, Corentin Moutet just might have the perfect responses to Denis Shapovalov’s game.
Prediction: Moutet in 3 sets
Written by - Vikram Khandelwal