MONTREAL, August 11, 2017
#NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov celebrated the biggest win of his career on Thursday evening at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, stunning World No. 2 Rafael Nadal 3-6, 6-4, 7-6.
The 18-year-old wild card entry sent down nine aces, saved nine of the 11 break points he faced, converting two of his own to prevail after two hours and 45 minutes to reach the quarterfinals on home soil.
“It’s so tough. A lot of the times he just hits a shot that’s way too good. I was managing to get a lot back when I could. But, you know, he’s honestly the best player I’ve ever played in my life,” Shapovalov said.
“You could tell why he’s won so many Grand Slams. His ball was just so heavy. He’s such a warrior out there. So it’s honestly, like a dream come true for me to beat a player like that.”
Shapovalov, who just broke into the Top 100 thanks to his win against Nadal, will attempt to reach the stage of the final four as he faces Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, who defeated Canadian Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-4 in the previous round.
For Nadal, a return to World No. 1 will have to wait. The 31-year-old Spaniard would have returned to the top of the ATP rankings for the first time since June 2014 if he had reached the semi-finals in Montreal.
“He played well. He has great potential. I wish him the best. He played with the right determination,” Nadal had to admit.
Federer, Zverev Advance
After maintaining his perfect record of 17-0 against David Ferrer, Roger Federer will attempt to move past another Spaniard, Roberto Bautista Agut, in the quarterfinals. Federer holds a record of 6-0 against Baustista Agut.
Three players who saved match points are still in action: Denis Shapovalov, Diego Schwartzman and Alexander Zverev. In a repeat of last week’s final at Washington, Kevin Anderson and Zverev will face off once again. It was only a few days ago that the young German signed a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Anderson.