Denis Shapovalov is a new face in men’s tennis circuit – the young Canadian turned heads in Toronto when he defeated Nick Kyrgios on his debut on Masters tour.
Canada never had a men senior singles Grand Slam champion, but their tennis is quickly rising to unbelievable heights. Felix Auger Aliassime became the youngest player ever to record a victory on Challenger Tour last year and he is currently one of the top juniors in the world, at the tender age of 15. Milos Raonic played his maiden Grand Slam final on Wimbledon this year, but fell to Andy Murray in three sets. Denis Shapovalov, 17-year-old leftie won Wimbledon junior title this year and joined these two as a third Canadian from whom his fellow countrymen expect the most.
After shocking Kyrgios in the first round and defeating him in three sets, Shapovalov played against Grigor Dimitrov. He practiced with him in numerous occasions and Bulgarian player isn’t in the best form at the moment, so Canadians hoped Shapovalov could go even further on the tournament.
He played better at the start, broke Dimitrov’s serve in fourth game, but Bulgarian equalized on 3:3. Shapovalov pressed him again in the next game, but he failed to convert another break point and from that moment on Grigor Dimitrov was in total control of the match and he cruised to the victory by 6:4, 6:3.
Despite losing the match, Shapovalov again showed he is a great talent. He is a big hitter already and he plays with his left hand, which can make him a very dangerous opponent to everyone in the years to come, since currently, outside Rafael Nadal whose form has been diminished for two years now, we don’t have any lefties in the top ten, and left-handed big hitters are even more rare.
Of course, Shapovalov must work on some things in his game, especially service, which should become a bigger weapon and footwork. Of course, he is still inexperienced, so tactically he can’t match older players, but he has the potential to rise to the top 10 in the future, that’s for sure, and one of the most constant top 10 players in the past seven years, Tomas Berdych, told so in the interview for Canadian media.
Shapovalov’s coach said that this is a completely new situation for the youngster, as he was texted and praised from the people he didn’t even know, or heard from in the previous several years, but he claims he will remain focused and that this is the start of an illustrious career.