Alexander Bublik and Denis Shapovalov have already faced each other once. It was in Marseille (indoor) in 2020, and the Kazakh won in 3 sets.
It is the first time that Alexander Bublik participates in this Masters 1000 in Madrid.
As for Denis Shapovalov, this is his third time in the main draw of this tournament. This is the second time he has reached the 2nd round, and his best performance is a semi-final in 2018.
In this edition
In the 1st round, Alexander Bublik won in 2 sets against Marton Fucsovics.
Denis Shapovalov defeated Dusan Lajovic in his first match (in 2 sets).
This match promises to be an exciting one as these playing conditions allow these two offensive players to offer some fun tennis to watch. Oh yes!
On clay, we never know in what state of mind Alexander Bublik will be. Indeed, it is not a surface he is fond of, and this prevents him from playing systematically at 100% (I think for example of his botched match in Estoril). However, when he gets his fingers out of his butt, the man can play some serious tennis. Since we are in a Masters 1000, I expect Alexander Bublik to try to play seriously and, why not, come away with the win.
Because yes, Denis Shapovalov should be the favorite (at least, he will be mine), but I don’t expect him to have an easy time. Alexander Bublik is a strong player who can hold his service games. The Canadian also serves very well, but he often (and sometimes disturbingly) flirts with the 50% first ball mark. This benefits his opponents, who can more easily get into rallies on his games.
Now, he should still have many rallies on the Kazakh’s services. The Kazakh should avoid endless rallies and take his chances as he is used to doing. The good news for Denis Shapovalov is that Alexander Bublik is not an incredible defender. So the Canadian knows he’ll win a lot of points by taking the game to himself (and that’s just how he likes to play).
It is worth noting that left-handed players do not really succeed against Alexander Bublik. Indeed, the Kazakh has not lost any of the 8 matches he played in an ATP tournament against left-handed players (only one on clay). And this is not a good sign for Denis Shapovalov.
Prediction: Denis Shapovalov wins