Shapo­valov is supreme; sixth-seeded Raonic falls

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTING LIFE -

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.

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