Dennis Shapovalov versus Stefanos Tsitsipas: Advantage Shapovalov

Shapovalov leads in the early stages of the Dennis Shapovalov versus Stefanos Tsitsipas rivalry. The Canadian took out Tsitsipas in a tight 7-6(4), 7-6(4) battle, at the inaugural ATP Cup in Brisbane.

Dennis Shapovalov improved his record to 3-1 against Tsitsipas.

Shapovalov’s win improved his record to 3-1 against Tsitsipas, and also helped Canada win the tie against Greece. Felix Auger-Aliassime had given Canada a head start by winning the first single, and Dennis only made the lead unassailable by taking Tsitsipas out.   

What are the implications of Shapovlov’s win against Tsitsipas?

Shapovalov and Tsitsipas, we believe, are the two top contenders for the number one spot in a few years. Barring injuries, we expect both to win multiple slams and mature into intense rivals over time. An early lead by Shapovalov doesn’t bode well for Tsitsipas, because Shapovalov, we believe, is a little more talented than Tsitsipas. Talent, however, is no substitute for hard work and Tsitsipas certainly leads Dennis in that realm. A slight lead, however, can turn into a substantial advantage, and we hope Tsitsipas is able to control the force of talent – that is – Shapovalov.

Tsitsipas’ back-swing on the backhand is not as pronounced as Shapovalov’s

Dennis Shapovalov versus Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Tsitsipas is more purposeful and controlled in his shot making and point construction than Shapovalov. He is also more measured in aggression and his tactical patterns are a little more defined and mature than Shapovalov’s. His back-swing on the backhand is a little less pronounced, and allows him to take the ball earlier. Shapovalov on the other hand has a bigger take back and is, therefore, a little more error-prone on the backhand.

Dennis’ forehand is an absolute point finisher. The pace and variety of Shapovalov’s forehand are impressive and of weapon caliber. And, we believe his forehand will only improve with time. Dennis Shapovalov’s first serve is more effective and a little less error prone than Tsitsipas’. Dennis, however, must control and purposefully direct his aggression for more consistent results, which should happen over time.

Shapovalov’s big back-swing on the backhand

Together they save us from the suffocating death, unleashed by the baseline grinders with two-handed backhands.

Neither is as balanced or moves as gracefully as the Maestro, but both possess the single handed backhand and an all court game. The single handed backhand and all-court tennis are a rarity in today’s tennis, but make for a beautiful and watchable game. The single handed backhand, if learnt at a young age, is the ultimate indicator of pure tennis talent. Its execution depends entirely on timing and is, therefore; impossible to pull off by a talentless 5 or 6 years old.

Both Tsitsipas and Shapovalov can attack the net well and aren’t afraid to do so on important points. Shapovalov, we believe, is more aggressive in approaching the net and is also quicker while there. Tsitsipas, however; covers the net well and also uses it tactically on crucial points. Together – these two dudes will save us from the tyranny of the baseline grinders with two-handed backhands.

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