Shapovalov is supreme; sixth-seeded Raonic falls
MONTREAL — After taking down one boyhood idol, Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov will be gunning for another at the men’s Rogers Cup tennis tournament.
The 18-year-old Shapovalov downed 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, 6-3, 7-6 (4), in a second-round match on a gusty Wednesday afternoon.
He advanced to a third-round meeting with Rafael Nadal, the top seed and a three-time Rogers Cup winner. The Spaniard has battled injuries in recent years but is back in the hunt for the world No. 1 ranking after winning his 10th French Open title this year.
“He’s another guy I grew up watching,” said Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont. “I’ve seen him win so many Slams.”
Nadal breezed past Borna Coric of Croatia, 6-1, 6-2.
A wrist injury had Canada’s topranked player, sixth-seeded Milos Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont., badly off his game as he fell, 6-4, 6-4, to Adrian Mannarino of France. Shapovalov kept his cool in key moments as he outplayed the veteran del Potro, a former top-five player who has dropped to 31st in ATP rankings. “He’s my idol,” said Shapovalov of the unseeded del Potro.
Shapovalov became the youngest player to reach the Round of 16 of a Master Series tournament since Nadal in 2004 at Miami.
It likely had mostly to do with Roger Federer playing earlier in the day, but the centre court stands were packed, which is unusual for a weekday afternoon. They threw full support behind the left-handed Shapovalov. Secondseeded Federer made short work of Toronto’s Peter Polansky, winning 6-2, 6-1 in 53 minutes.
Federer, a two-time Rogers Cup champion ranked third in the world, has had a surprise resurgence this season by posting his 18th and 19th career grand slam wins at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
The Swiss ace who turned 36 on Tuesday next faces Spain’s David Ferrer, a 7-6 (7), 3-6, 6-1 winner over 15th-seeded American Jack Sock.
In other results, third-seed Dominic Thiem of Austria was upset, 6-4, 6-7 (7), 7-5, by Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman and fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan, a finalist last year, was ousted, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (7), 7-5, by Gael Monfils. It was the Frenchman’s first win in four meetings with Nishikori. German Alexander Zverev, the fourth seed, downed Frenchman Richard Gasquet, 6-3,46,7-6 (3). Seventh-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitov topped Mischa Zverev, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. No. 12 Roberto Agut of Spain downed American Ryan Harrison, 7-5, 6-2, and Robin Haase of The Netherlands defeated lucky loser Ernesto Escobedo, 6-4, 6-1.
Milos Raonic of Canada reacts in his match against Adrian Mannarino of France during Rogers Cup play Wednesday. Raonic lost, 6-4, 6-4.