What a difference a week – and saving match points – makes!
Denis Shapovalov emerged as the talk of Canada and the tennis world this week after his breathtaking run to the semi-finals of the Coupe Rogers in Montreal. But had he not saved four match points in the opening round against Rogerio Dutra Silva, the 18 year old would be battling in relative obscurity next week at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Vancouver, still at around No. 150 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.
History will show that Shapovalov fought off those four match points, then beat Grand Slam champions Juan Martin del Potro and Rafael Nadal en route to the Montreal semi-finals, where he pushed World No. 8 Alexander Zverev to 6-4, 7-5. That result will see him move inside the Top 70 of the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday. Talk about a game changer!
“I don’t even think I realise it yet; it’s a huge jump from 144 to 67,” Shapovalov said. “My whole life has changed in the past five days. It’s crazy how it is. I go from being not known to being so known in the tennis world, in Canada in general. It’s going to be a little bit of a change to me. I’m going to have to adapt…
“On TV, I wasn’t expecting to hear my name every two minutes. It’s like, ‘All right, guys, enough, enough (smiling). It’s quite a change going from just being a junior coming up to kind of now people consider that I’ve made the transition… regardless, this is one week. It’s just a small part of this season. I still have to work really hard. I still have so many aspects of the game I can improve.”
Spotlight On Shapovalov: Canada’s Rising Star
But if you think the new-found fame will change the left-hander, think again. Shapovalov says those closest to him will help him to keep life in perspective.
“I think personally I’m very lucky because I come from a very humble family that went through a pretty tough life. Not terrible life, but they had to work for a living and stuff….