Shapovalov Enjoys One Of His Best Days On Clay At The Magix Box

MADRID, May 11, 2018

The young guns dominated Thursday’s third round action at the Mutua Madrid Open. Denis Shapovalov emerged victorious from the first ever all-Canadian-affair with Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-4.

The 19-year-old, who has reached a new career-high ranking seven times this season, saved the only break point he faced, converting two of his own six chances to prevail after one hour and 22 minutes. Shapovalov advances to his second quarterfinal at ATP Masters 1000-level. As an 18-year-old, Shapovalov upset Nadal last August in Montreal and became the youngest ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinalist and semi-finalist since the series started in 1990.

“[It was] definitely one of my best days on clay,” said Shapovalov. “To be on the court against such a legend for me, and for my country, it was an honour. It was fun. There was no pressure on me, [but] obviously a lot more on him playing a young guy coming up. But, I mean, I just enjoyed myself.

“To beat him, it was a huge confidence booster for me. The match felt like everything kind of went great. I was guessing a lot the right way on his serves. When I got my racquet on them, usually they were falling in. There’s nothing to criticise about my performance today.”

Shapovalov will next take on Kyle Edmund. The 23-year-old Briton edged out No. 8 seed David Goffin 6-3, 6-3. Edmund sent down seven, winning 86 per cent of his first service points to advance in one hour and 12 minutes.

Munich champion Alexander Zverev continues his good run of form beating Leonardo Mayer of Argentina 6-4, 6-2. The 21-year-old German broke his opponent three times to finish the encounter in one hour and 10 minutes.

Dusan Lajovic knocked out No. 4 seed Juan Martin Del Potro 3-6, 6-4, 7-6. The qualifier from Serbia earned his first win over a top 10-player after two hours and 17 minutes.

“It’s for sure my best win, and definitely one of the best matches I’ve played. I really felt good on the court today,” Lajovic said. “I felt I had my chances throughout the whole match. I was fighting from the first point till the last. It paid off.” Next up for Lajovic will be Kevin Anderson.

Nadal: 50 consecutive sets won on clay

Dominic Thiem overcame Borna Coric of Croatia. The 24-year-old Austrian won four points less than his opponent but seal a 2-6, 7-6, 6-4 victory in two hours and 24 minutes. Thiem will now challenge Rafael Nadal, who put his name in the record books later in the evening with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Diego Schwartzman.

Nadal has passed John McEnroe for the longest set streak on any surface in the Open Era, winning 50 sets in a row on clay.

“I really don’t think much about that. All these things, probably after I finish my career will be the time to think about it,” Nadal said. “I won a difficult match against a very difficult player that played well.”