De­nis Shapo­valov con­tin­ues his amaz­ing run af­ter beat­ing Adrian Man­nar­ino to reach Rogers Cup semi­fi­nals

Ottawa Sun - - SPORTS - PAT HICKEY — Pat Hickey

MONTREAL — De­nis Shapo­valov has to come up with some new goals.

The 18-year-old from Rich­mond Hill, Ont., had his sights set on a place in the top 100 in the ATP rank­ings this year, but a suc­cess­ful run at the Rogers Cup has guar­an­teed him a place in the mid-60s — and he’s not fin­ished.

Shapo­valov reached the semi­fi­nals of the $4.9-mil­lion event Fri­day night with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 quar­ter-fi­nal win over Adrian Man­nar­ino of France. Shapo­valov broke Man­nar­ino to take a 5-4 lead in the de­cid­ing set and then served out the match.

In Satur­day’s 8 p.m. semi­fi­nal, Shapo­valov will meet the win­ner of Fri­day’s late match be­tween fourth-seeded Ger­man Alexan­der Zverev and Kevin An­der­son of South Africa.

Shapo­valov’s win once again high­lighted his re­silience and his abil­ity to come up with big shots when he needed them. He had a slow start and was bro­ken on his first two ser­vice games. He had nine aces but he also dou­ble-faulted seven times. And his first-serve per­cent­age was only 51%.

But he also made ad­just­ments when Man­nar­ino tried to slow the pace and he fought off eight of the 11 break points against him.

The vic­tory wasn’t as stun­ning as his win over topseeded Rafael Nadal less than 24 hours ear­lier, but he made more his­tory as he be­came the youngest win­ner to reach the semi­fi­nals of an ATP Mas­ters 1000 event since the cir­cuit be­gan in 1990.

Af­ter a dis­as­trous first set, Cana­dian De­nis Shapo­valov cel­e­brates af­ter win­ning the sec­ond set over France’s Adrian Man­nar­ino in their quar­ter­fi­nal match last night in Montreal. the mo­men­tum changed in Shapo­valov’s favour af­ter a brief rain de­lay halted play with Shapo­valov hold­ing a 3-2 lead on serve in the sec­ond set. Be­cause the de­lay wasn’t more than 10 min­utes, there was no warmup for Man­nar­ino and he was bro­ken at 15-40. Shapo­valov held his n serve the rest of the way to knot the match at a set apiece.

“I started off pretty slow, just drained from yes­ter­day,” Shapo­valov said. “Rafa took a lot out of me. But Adrian did a good job in the first set, re­ally tak­ing it to me.

“Yeah, I felt like he was just re­ally solid, wasn’t giv­ing

MONTREAL — De­nis Shapo­valov’s ten­nis ca­reer hit a low point in Fe­bru­ary when he was play­ing Kyle Edmund in the de­cid­ing rub­ber in Canada’s Davis Cup tie against Bri­tain.

Edmund won the first two sets and, when the Bri­tish player took a 2-1 lead in the third set, a frus­trated Shapo­valov picked up a ball and took a wild swing. The ball hit um­pire Ar­naud Gabas in the eye and the teenager from Rich­mond Hill, Ont., was de­faulted, hand­ing the tie to Bri­tain.

For Martin Lau­ren­deau, who serves in a me any­thing. I felt a lit­tle bit rushed. I tried to slow things down in the sec­ond.

“Ob­vi­ously the rain de­lay helped me. Dur­ing the rain de­lay, I kind of told my­self, you know, this could be a re­ally good turn­ing point,” Shapo­valov said. “It’s giv­ing him a lit­tle bit of time to dual role of Shapo­valov’s per­sonal coach and cap­tain of the Davis Cup team, Shapo­valov’s re­sponse to the in­ci­dent went a long way to pro­duc­ing his re­cent suc­cess.

“As far as how he’s han­dled the Fe­bru­ary in­ci­dent, from the be­gin­ning, and I keep say­ing it, it’s very im­pres­sive from any­body, even a vet­eran and a ma­ture man, to face the con­se­quences of what hap­pened,” Lau­ren­deau said Thurs­day. “I think it’s even more im­pres­sive for a teenager to han­dle that like he’s han­dled it. think about his game. He got a lit­tle bit cold. It’s al­ways tough to come out and serve af­ter hav­ing, you know, 11, 12 min­utes off.”

Prior to this tour­na­ment, Shapo­valov had three wins at the ATP Tour level; the four play­ers he has beaten in Montreal had a com­bined 1,356 wins.

Shapo­valov came into this tour­na­ment ranked No.143, but he’s pro­jected to jump to No.66 with a fur­ther jump if he wins Satur­day. He is guar­an­teed $220,780 in prize money, eclips­ing his ca­reer earn­ings of $197,661.

Mean­while, Roger Federer con­tin­ued his pur­suit of a third Rogers Cup ti­tle, but his first in Montreal.

Federer eased into the semi­fi­nals with a work­man­like 6-4, 6-4 win over 12th-seeded Roberto Bautista-Agut of Spain.

Next up at 3 p.m. Satur­day is un­seeded Robin Haase of the Nether­lands, who said he was lucky to come back for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Diego Schwartz­man of Ar­gentina.

Federer, who is play­ing his first tour­na­ment since win­ning his eighth Wim­ble­don ti­tle, strug­gled a bit at the be­gin­ning of his Thurs­day match against Span­ish vet­eran David Fer­rer and was forced to play three sets. But he seemed more com­posed Fri­day.

“I be­lieve I served bet­ter ear­lier in the match, but I don’t think Bautista-Agut re­turned as well as Fer­rer,” Federer said. “Both things com­bined, two ma­jor fac­tors in a be­gin­ning of a match, I was able to get into the match bet­ter. Of course, it was tough un­til 4-all. But my game plan worked bet­ter against Bautista-Agut than against Fer­rer. I be­lieve it’s be­cause to­day I was more ag­gres­sive com­ing to the net.

Haase and Schwartz­man were both look­ing to reach their first semi­fi­nal in an ATP Mas­ters 1000 event. Haase said it was dif­fi­cult for both play­ers af­ter play­ing tough three-set matches against seeded play­ers ear­lier in the week.

“I played a lot of good matches, es­pe­cially yes­ter­day against (sev­enth-seeded Grigor) Dim­itrov,” Haase said. “It’s tough to come back and play that same level. I didn’t, but I man­aged to win be­cause I kept fight­ing. You could see that we were both men­tally (tired). It took a lot of us. We beat good guys. We’ve been play­ing re­ally well. Then to do it on this stage again for your first semis, it’s not easy.”


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