Montreal | Shapovalov stuns Nadal
Denis Shapovalov produced the shock result of the Rogers Cup in Montreal when he toppled the top seed Rafa Nadal in the Canadian leg of the Masters 1000 series and in the process kept Andy Murray at the top of the rankings for at least another week.
I was just swinging for the fences. I just kept fighting. I knew it was going to be really tough. I went for my shots in the big moments and I caught a couple of lines got a little bit lucky.Denis Shapovalov
For the Canadian teenager it was the win of his career and kept the home crowds enthralled as Shapovalov proved that at 18-years-of age he has the qualities of stardom.
But even the youngster, who needed a wild card to make the draw, was surprised at the 3-6 6-4 7-6(4) result.
“I was just swinging for the fences,” he admitted. “I just kept fighting. I knew it was going to be really tough. I went for my shots in the big moments and I caught a couple of lines got a little bit lucky.
Shapovalov said he didn’t think he had a chance to win and it wasn’t until he levelled the sets at one -all that he realized he had a chance of beating the world No.2.
“The whole day I was like – there’s no chance. I will go and have fun but there is no way I am beating this guy,” he said
“I went up a break in the second set early and even though he broke me back I felt like – OK, I am capable of breaking him. So when I won that second set I thought let’s go one more set and who knows, anything can happen.”
Shapovalov fired a total of nine aces as against seven double faults but won 67 percent of his first serve points while Nadal Nadal won 77 percent of his first serves , struck just two aces and delivered six double faults in the two hour, 45-minute centre court battle.
“It is incredible. I can’t even talk right now. I grew up watching Rafa so just to be able to compete with him is one thing but to come out winning is a dream come true for me,” Shapovalov concluded.
Meanwhile Nadal described the loss as his worst result of the season.
“Worst loss of the year because I lost against a player with a lower ranking,” Nadal said. “At the same time because of the opportunity I had to get back to No.1.”
But he praised his young opponent. “He won. It is amazing for him. It is a great story but I am not happy to be part of this story,” Nadal said.
“The worst thing is playing bad in matches that really matter,” the Spaniard continued. “You have to win these matches. I didn’t today. I have another week in Cincinnati and then I have the Grand Slam coming.”
In other action, Roger Federer maintained his career-long winning streak over David Ferrer with a 4-6,6-4 6-2 victory to reach the quarter-finals after a three-set battle with the veteran Spaniard while Germany’s Alexander Zverev defeated Nick Kyrgios 6-4 6-3, Roberto Bautista outlasted Gael Monfils 4-6 7-6(5) 7-6(2) and Kevin Anderson of South Africa cruised past Sam Querrey 6-4 6-1.