From the great Shapovalov | The Journal of Montreal
He is only the third Canadian in history to reach the quarter-finals in Melbourne. The other two are Milos Raonic (five times) and Mike Belkin (1968). In his four previous appearances, he had not gone beyond the third round.
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If he wins his next game, he will equal his best result in a Grand Slam tournament. We remember that he reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon last year. He bowed to Novak Djokovic.
“What Félix Auger-Aliassime and I are doing in Australia is special,” said Denis Shapovalov after his resounding triumph over Zverev. We hope that many people in Canada will have the chance to see our matches.
“It’s not super easy in Canada right now (due to the pandemic). So, I hope we can bring a balm to people who have something to watch and follow.
Nadal on his way
Shapovalov now has a big client on his way: Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard has won three of the four encounters between them. It will be their first duel in a Grand Slam tournament.
“I expect quite a battle, analyzed the 14th seed of the tournament. Of course, he makes you hit several balls. He defends himself very well.
“He is very good at what he does. I will try to play my match and impose my rhythm on him. I want to continue to use the same recipe: be patient, fight for all the points and choose my moments to be aggressive.
Nadal returned to action after a long absence with a foot injury. So far, his return to play is going well.
However, will he be able to keep up with a younger, more incisive player like Shapovalov? It will be a good test.
Brilliant against Zverev
We must also talk about his performance against Alexander Zverev. A one-sided match won by 6-3, 7-6 (5) and 6-3.
“It was a very solid game for me,” Shapovalov said. I felt like I was dominating Sasha from the baseline during the first points, so that was a good sign for the future.
“I played smart. I’ve done a good job of staying patient and getting faster on my serve games. I illustrated myself in several facets.”
Only discordant note: his 11 double faults. Usually that’s enough to take a loss. Shapovalov found a way around this negative aspect.
“I like to go to the limit. It’s not always ideal. Of course I wouldn’t like to miss any shots or commit double faults, but that’s part of tennis. It’s a game of mistakes.”