Friday, August 11, 2017

Nadal stunned by Shapovalov at Rogers Cup

Rafael Nadal stunned by Denis Shapovalov at Rogers Cup

Denis Shapovalov upset Rafael Nadal 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 at the Rogers Cup 2017.

The Canadian will next play Adrian Mannarino, who dismissed Hyeon Chung 6-3, 6-3.

Shapovalov, ranked 143th, delighted the home crowd late in the night in Montreal as he took the win in two hours 45 minutes.

The youngster responded impressively to Nadal easing through the first set to force a decider, where Shapovalov saved three break points before winning an epic 14-minute third game, which included 10 deuces.

The pair continued to trade games up until a tie-break, where Nadal saw a 3-0 lead evaporate by the first change of ends.

He edged ahead again but Shapovalov won the next three points to bring up match point, which he took at the first attempt with a forehand winner.

"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."

"It's a very fast pace right now. It's a lot to take in, obviously. But to be honest, I'm very thankful that I'm in this position," Shapovalov said. "If I didn't save those four match points in the first round [against Dutra Silva], there wouldn't even be a chance to play Juan Martin or Rafa. I'm very thankful for that."

After the ball sped past Nadal, Shapovalov tossed his racquet and fell to the court, covering his eyes in disbelief.

"I don't know if a lot of players fold or if he just outplays them at the end," Shapovalov said. "I was down 3-0 in the tie-break. I did a good job to regroup. I knew I had to win both the points off my serve. Yeah, then he gave me a double [fault] to tie it up.

"I just tried to stay calm, tried to play every point, go for my shots. At the end of the day I really tried to keep playing my game and stick to my tactics."

The top seed needed to reach the semi-finals to replace Andy Murray at the top of the rankings this week.

Nadal will overtake the Scott in the rankings after next week's Cincinnati Masters, but faces a challenge from Roger Federer, who could prevent the Spaniard reaching top spot for the first time since 2014.

Shapovalov is projected to reach a new career high and crack the Top 100 at No. 100.