Player with higher tennis IQ won.
In the last few months, Bublik has beaten Dimitrov, Fucsovics, Mannarino, Nishioka, Evans, etc. Some "mug" - while Shapovalov has lost to the first two players the last times they faced, for example.Denis continues to struggle with these basic issues: focus, concentration and keeping down his unforced errors. This is why he loses in matches such as these. Until he fixes this he's lucky to be where he is right now. But, if this doesn't improve, he'll slide down the rankings once again. Draws will become tougher once more and he will become more frustrated. Also, what happened to Youzhney? He's not been around since ATP cup and I hope another coach hasn't gone by the wayside. Denis has tons of talent and obviously works hard and has a real commitment to and passion for what he does. He's still young and has time to improve, but he really needs to stop losing to mugs like these when he should clearly win.
I didn't see it as a clown fest, so I disagree with that. But, I agree with your final statement. This is not to take anything away from Bublik but Denis is the more talented player, and he's still consistently losing to guys like this. That is not a good sign in my opinion. How it plays out over time is anyone's guess. None of us have a crystal ball into the future. But, for now, Denis looks like the more vulnerable than Felix, more prone to bad losses, more likely to be inconsistent. I honestly thought that late last year that was fixed through his work with Youzhny. It wasn't. And, Mikhail hasn't been around lately.What a clown fest this was. Shapovalov missing that smash at the net wide on break point said it all about where his mentality was for this one. Bublik is a talented player, but Denis needs to be finding his way through matches like this.
Been very busy and missed this quote. Link?