Teenage tennis sensation Denis Shapovalov has done it again.
The 18-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont. fought off more break points, came back from more deficits and found a way to beat 29-year-old Adrian Mannarino of France in the quarter-finals of the Rogers Cup on Friday night.
The win came less than 24 hours after a historic upset of first seeded tennis legend Rafael Nadal, which followed a second round win over 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro and a first-round victory over Rogerio Dutra Silva in which he needed to fight off four match points for the Brazilian.
“I’ve been against the wall a couple times this week and I’m very happy I’ve come out several times just playing really good tennis in those situations,” said Shapovalov. “I think it really shows how I’ve improved mentally, along with just finding my game at the right moments.”
After facing a run of veterans, he will be up against 20-year-old German Alexander Zverev, the fourth seed, in the semifinals on Saturday. Zverev defeated Kevin Anderson of South Africa 7-5, 6-4.
The lanky left-hander with the shaggy blonde hair has emerged as Canada’s newest tennis star with his play this week at a tournament some still call the Canadian Open.
Currently ranked 143rd in the world after a win in a lower-level Challenger event only three weeks ago in Gatineau, Que., Shapovalov will crack the top 70, possibly to 66th, for reaching the semifinals. There is already talk of giving him a wild card entry into the U.S. Open at the end of the month due to his new ranking instead of trying his luck in the qualifying tournament.
“It’s a lot of changes happening within a couple days,” said Shapovalov. “We’ll plan after the event. Probably playing more ATP [tournaments], fewer Challengers.”
He is the youngest player ever to reach the semifinals of a Masters Series…