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Preview: Denis Shapovalov faces Rafael Nadal in Australian Open quarter-final

Jan 24, 2022
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada

Tonight at 10 p.m. ET (2 p.m. local time in Melbourne, Australia), Denis Shapovalov will face off against 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

Heading into tonight’s match-up, Shapovalov has won seven consecutive matches – a career-best winning streak for the World No. 14. He’s been playing some remarkable tennis during that stretch, dominating his opponents right out the gate and winning the first set in all seven contests.

Meanwhile, Shapovalov’s opponent is also riding a seven-win run of his own. Nadal captured his 89th Tour-level title two weeks ago at the Melbourne Summer Set and is bidding to win his 21st Grand Slam this week, which would put him in sole ownership of the most Grand Slam titles in men’s singles history. The sixth-seeded Nadal cruised his way to his quarter-final match with Shapovalov, dropping only a single set along the way.

Nadal’s resume speaks for itself, and a win tonight for Shapovalov would be anything but easy. But, the in-form Shapovalov has done it before – winning 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(4) in Montreal in 2017 – and will look to do it again, this time at a Grand Slam event in Rod Laver Arena. 

They also met nine years prior to their battle under the bright lights in Montreal. At the time, Shapovalov was just a few years away from playing at the pro-level. Check it out below:

Here’s how they have fared so far at Melbourne Park:

Nadal (leads head-to-head 3-1)Shapovalov
Time on court10 hours and one minute13 hours and 11 minutes
Aces2855
Doubles faults1931
First serve % won83 per cent81 per cent
First serve return points83111

The winner will face either Matteo Berrettini of Italy or Gael Monfils of France in the semi-finals. Shapovalov leads his head-to-head with Berrettini 2-0 and is all square with Monfils at 1-1, while Nadal won his only meeting against the Italian and is 14-2 against Monfils.