The teenager has an amazing year. After making his breakthrough during the Canadian Masters Open, he was invited at Laver Cup to join legends of the game.
Denis Shapovalov entered the top 50 ATP and after his opener from Basel, he qualified for the Next Gen Tournament, held in Milan, Italy.
Basel is a prestigious tournament, the hometown of the GOAT, Roger Federer. The Canadian won his first round against the Japanese, Yuichi Sugita, making a spectacular comeback to clinch the victory, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (3). If he wins his next match, he can meet his idol, Federer.
The match started with rallies and spectacular shot making from both players. It wasn’t much to chose from, but Sugita showed more composure in the important moments. The Japanese broke Denis’s serve fast, being helped also by some unforced errors from the teenager.
In the second set was a total different story. Shapovalov became very aggressive and increased the speed of play. Started coming to the net often and covered it great. The Canadian varied his shots, looking for the lines. He was the one who took the risks and it paid off. It was a one-way traffic, Yuichi being unable to find answers.
The decider started very good for Denis, breaking Sugita’s serve, but was unable to continue his form, being broken back. The Japanese managed to push the match into a tie-break, but Shapovalov was superior there, serving better. Sugita closed a well fought match with a double fault.
Elsewhere, Roberto Bautista Agut was masterful against Mikhail Kukushkin, winning fast, 6-0, 6-3.
Marco Chiudinelli, Basel native, received a wild card. Being supported by Federer from the crowd, the Swiss tried his best against Robin Haase, but found himself overpowered. It was his retirement match. The Dutchman won 6-2, 7-6 (3).