The first time Milos Raonic and Denis Shapovalov faced off playing in the ATP World Tour, it was Shapovalov who was victorious. On Thursday, Raonic, a seasoned veteran of the tour will get his chance to even the score.
Raonic ranked 29th in the world, and Shapovalov, ranked 32nd, are Canada’s top tennis players. The two are set to square off tomorrow in Cincinnati at the Masters 1000 tournament. This is the third round of the tournament, and after Shapovalov defeated Kyle Edmund of England, he earned his spot to challenge Raonic, who won in the second round against Malek Jaziri from Tunisian
After his second-round win, Shapovalov said,
“I’ve watched him for so many years representing Canada so any chance I get to play him and take him on, it’s a privilege for me, so I’m going to go out there and enjoy myself, kind of like I did in Madrid, and hopefully I can play as well.”
Last May when the two met Shapovalov beat Raonic in two straight sets. It was the only time the two had played together and one that saw Shapovalov winning nearly 80% of his serves and giving the young Canadian a large boost to his confidence.
Shapovalov took over the top spot and the highest ranked Canadian in the ATP Tour but lost that position to Raonic early this week. The drop saw Shapovalov drop six positions to 32nd due to points being lost from his Rogers Cup semi-final appearance last year in Montreal.
While both are exceptionally competitive, there styles different substantially. Raonic is known for his big hitting right-hand and likes to be more composed on the court, while Shapovalov is a left-hander. Raonic has earned eight titles in his career to date after turning pro in 2008. At the Australian Open in 2016 he made it to the semi-finals, and at Wimbledon, he made it to the final in the same year.
Vice President of Tennis Canada, Louis Borfiga recently commented about Raonic in a recent interview. Borfiga said,
“He showed the way for the next generation because Milos was No. 3, in a final of a Grand Slam and in semifinals. He’s had an incredible impact for the young generation. Milos is very, very important for the success of Canadian tennis.”
While Shapovalov is an up-coming player who has done well on the tour, he is still in search of his first win, and he is on top of a group of younger players that includes the likes of Bianca Andreescu, Francoise Abanda and Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Raonic’s recent health issues set him back in the rankings, but this season he has had some solid performances. He struggled at the Rogers Cup in Toronto last week and lost to Frances Tiafoe, whereas Shapovalov fell to the Netherlands Robin Haase.
The week started out strong for both Shapovalov, who beat Francis Tiafoe and Raonic scored a victory against Dusan Lajovi from Serbia. It is expected that both Shapovalov and Raonic will play as teammates at the Davis Cup.
Commenting on the future of tennis in Canada, Karl Hale, the tournament director for the Rogers Cup said,
“The future is really bright, not just for the Rogers Cup but for Davis Cup and also for tennis in Canada, so you’re looking at a 10-year window of tremendous and new accomplishments for tennis in Canada. So, we are very humble as Canadians, but very excited about the future.”
The Masters 1000 will continue until Sunday when the finals will be played. With a prize purse of $5.67 million, it is one well worth the energies of tennis punters looking to support Canadian players like Shapovalov and Raonic. Betting.ca has a strong list of tennis sports betting sites that are Canadian friendly, and with sportsbooks such as bet365, the selections give you access to the best in online sports betting thanks to its $200 sign-up bonus and regular promotions, many of which feature the ATP Tour. Sign up today and take advantage of this generous offer.