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On Thursday, fans in Cincinnati will see a match that would have had last week’s Rogers Cup crowd in a frenzy: Denis Shapovalov vs. Milos Raonic.
Despite a tough draw, Shapovalov has looked impressive early on in this Masters event. The 19-year-old beat Frances Tiafoe in three sets in the opening round of the tournament, and then he beat world No. 16 Kyle Edmund 6-4, 7-5. The teenager was completely in control of his game against the Brit on Tuesday, which is a good sign heading into the round of 16.
Meanwhile, Raonic hasn’t looked too bad himself. The 27-year-old didn’t drop a set in wins over Dusan Lajovic or Malek Jaziri. Overall, the former world No. 3 has had a nice bounce-back year after an injury-filled 2017 season.
Shapovalov and Raonic met at the Madrid Masters earlier in 2018, when Shapovalov won 6-4, 6-4 at the clay-court event. But this match should be a lot tougher for the youngster to win. Raonic is a lot better on hard courts than he is on clay, and he has been serving extremely well in Cincinnati thus far.
This match also happens to feature two guys that hit for a ton of power, so it’ll be interesting to see if one of them mixes things up to try and get an edge. It was the teenager that had more to offer when they met back in May. The winner will face either Novak Djokovic or Grigor Dimitrov in another tantalizing match-up.
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