Shapo­valov set to face ul­ti­mate test on clay

Edmonton Journal - - SPORTS -

Cana­dian teenager De­nis Shapo­valov’s break­out sea­son on clay is about to face the ul­ti­mate test. Shapo­valov reached the third round of the Ital­ian Open Wed­nes­day with a 7-6 (3), 6-7 (5), 6-3 win over Dutch vet­eran Robin Haase. Next up for the 19-yearold from Rich­mond Hill, Ont., is top seed Rafael Nadal, a mas­ter of the clay court. Shapo­valov posted his big­gest win to date when he beat Nadal in three sets in the round of 16 at last year’s Rogers Cup in Montreal. But that was on a hard-court sur­face, not Nadal’s pre­ferred clay. Nadal im­proved to 15-1 this sea­son — and 404-36 in his ca­reer — on clay with a 6-1, 6-0 rout of 31stranked Damir Dzumhur.

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