Monfils Outshines Shapovalov In Blockbuster Rotterdam Opener

Monfils Outshines Shapovalov In Blockbuster Rotterdam Opener

by Zachary Wimer

Gael Monfils won the Rotterdam Open twice in his life, and he's back this year, starting off with a banging win over Denis Shapovalov.

Shapovalov isn't playing the best tennis right now, but that's because he just recently returned from a long injury layoff. The Canadian had some decent moments in recent weeks but, for the most part, struggled to really find his tennis.

He's a very streaky player in general, and Rotterdam isn't the type of court that really suits his play. It's a very slow indoor hard court, and that forces players to work for points, which can be tricky for those who struggle with consistency, which he has been lately.

It works the opposite way for Monfils, whose affinity for playing long rallies is well-known. It might have contributed to his injury-prone career, but it also brought him a lot of success.

He's been playing far more aggressively in recent years due to getting older, and he certainly brought some of that in this match. The match was generally very close as both sets finished in the tie-break.

Shapovalov served pretty well, which minimized the number of chances that his opponent had. The French veteran had only one break point and wasn't able to cover it.

The Canadian couldn't do it either, though he had three break points in the entire match. Both players' first serve-winning percentages were high: 83 % for Shapovalov and 77 % for Monfils.

It was just a match that came down to a few rallies, and in those pressure situations, Monfils handled it a bit better. Shapovalov was overly eager to finish off points on his terms and totaled 38 winners but also 24 unforced errors, which was simply a bit too much.

He needs more matches to get hat consistency which is so crucial to his game as Monfils won this match 7-6(4), 7-6(5).


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