ATP Montpellier Quarterfinal
Tomas Berdych (CZE) – UTR 15.56, ATP No. 79
Filip Krajinovic (SRB) – UTR 15.26, ATP No. 72
During my first ever visit to IMG academies in 2006 (then Nick Bolletieri Tennis Academy), my traveling coach called me over to the center court and said, “Want to see how a real pro tennis player trains?” The pro in question was a then 13-year old Filip Krajinovic, who was simply destroying the tennis ball, along with his 27-year-old opponent, former pro Hugo Armando. Krajinovic’s movement, ball striking, and overall talent level was off the charts. He was the best 13-year old I had ever seen. The coaches at IMG will tell you the same.
The talented Serbian will have his work cut out for him against the oddsmakers’ favorite to win Montpellier, red-hot Tomas Berdych. Krajinovic is like a poor man’s Berdych: He has a weaker serve and is much less physically imposing. But they have the same objective on the tennis court, play attacking, aggressive-baseliner tennis. Perfect indoor conditions combined with the Serbian’s talent could create some problems for Berdych. Both UTR and Las Vegas oddsmakers heavily favor the Czech, but after a straight-set dismantling of David Goffin, the 26-year-old Serbian could surprise you. Expect Berdych to advance in a closer-than-expected battle of humungous flat-ball hitters.
ATP Montpellier Quarterfinal
Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) - UTR 15.30, ATP No. 44
Denis Shapovalov (CAN) - UTR 15.26, ATP No. 25
Fresh off his career doubles Grand Slam, Pierre-Hugues Herbert is playing the best singles of his career. Sitting at a career-high world No. 44, he will take on the enormously gifted 19-year old Canadian Denis Shapovalov. Herbert ventures forward to the net more than almost any of his peers. He uses his big serve, athleticism, and his phenomenal net skills to out-class his opponents. Playing Herbert indoors on a fast court would be a nightmare.
However, Denis Shapovalov will not be bothered by the constant pressure of Herbert, and he may actually prefer it. Herbert will look to finish points at the net, like he always does. In doing so, he will provide one of the best shot-makers on tour with plenty of targets to aim towards. Shapovalov is already one of the best shot-makers around, and presenting him with consistent targets to hit at could backfire. The young Canadian can hit passing shots from anywhere on the court from both wings. If Shapo brings his A-game, look for his supreme skills to take care of the decorated young Frenchman.
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