Rafael Nadal bid for No. 1 ranking on Monday ended at the hands of young Canadian Denis Shapovalov. The 18-year-old stunned the 3-time tournament champion 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(4) in the third round of the Canadian Open.
After squeezing out the second set, Shapovalov had to save six break points against him from Nadal. Then had to overcome a 3-0 deficit in the third set tiebreaker and he did it in magical style winning seven of the last eight points to the roar and delight of his home crowd.
“It’s so tough. A lot of the times he just hits a shot that’s way too good. I was managing to get a lot back when I could. But, you know, he’s honestly the best player I’ve ever played in my life,” Shapovalov said.
“You could tell why he’s won so many Grand Slams. His ball was just so heavy. He’s such a warrior out there. So it’s honestly, like a dream come true for me to beat a player like that.
“I don’t know if a lot of players fold or if he just outplays them at the end,” he added. “I was down 3-0 in the tie-break. I did a good job to regroup. I knew I had to win both the points off my serve. Yeah, then he gave me a double [fault] to tie it up.
“I just tried to stay calm, tried to play every point, go for my shots. At the end of the day I really tried to keep playing my game and stick to my tactics.”
Nadal, who needed only to beat the 143rd-ranked Shapovalov and then Adrian Mannarino to return to No. 1 on Monday, will have to win until after Cincinnati to get back to the top.
“It probably is the worst lose of the year, without a doubt, for me,” Nadal said. “He played well. I played really bad. When this kind of thing happens, the only thing you can do is wish the opponent the best.
“It is probably my worst loss of the year because I lost against a player with a lower ranking. At the same time, because of the opportunity I had here to come back to No. 1. Always tough, but the draw was not that impossible after all the matches that were happening. So it was an important mistake from me.”
At 18 years, 3 months, Shapovalov is the youngest quarterfinalist in ATP Masters 1y (since 1990) and he’s the youngest quarterfinalist at the Canadian Open since Bjorn Borg (18 years, 2 months) in 1974.
From the youngest to the oldest, Roger Federer register his 17th straight win over David Ferrer, but had to work to do. Federer didn’t play his best and struggled with his serve for much of the day, but prevailed in the end 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
“From the baseline, I didn’t have enough rhythm. The court is fast here. Of course, because of the surface, that it’s fast, you can’t just decide to put the ball in because physically David is very strong. You can’t do that. You have to go into the battle. You have to accept you’re going to make mistakes. But you have to keep moving forward.
“I tried with my intensity and focus to change the match, and this is what I was able to do. I was able also to change the angles, and that helped me win the match.”
Next for Federer is another Spaniard he has dominated in Roberto Bautista Agut. Agut outlasted Gael Monfils in a third set tiebreaker 4-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(2). The Swiss has won all six meetings with Agut, never having dropped a set.
“We battled, both tried to find a way to win. He had a good start, I had a better finish,” Federer said. “That was important. For me, take it how it is and hope that this match gives me some better rhythm and confidence against Bautista Agut, who plays actually very similar to David today.”
Alexander Zverev stayed hot rolling past Nick Kyrgios 6-4, 6-3. The German 20-year-old now meets Kevin Anderson who stopped Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-1.
“The momentum is definitely with me. But I’m playing Anderson tomorrow,” said Zverev who has won his last seven matches. “He’s played a lot of matches. He’s playing very, very well. It’s going to be another interesting one.”
Tomorrow opens with a surprise quarterfinal on Center as Diego Schwartzman meets Robin Haase for a spot in a first Masters semifinal for either. Schwartzman rallied from a 6-0, 2-0 hole against American 20-year-old to win 0-6, 7-5, 7-5.
Haase reached his first Canadian quarterfinals by bouncing Grigor Dimitrov 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-1.
FRIDAY MONTREAL SCHEDULE
COURT CENTRAL start 12:30 pm
R. Haase (NED) vs D. Schwartzman (ARG)
Not Before 2:30 pm
 R. Bautista Agut (ESP) vs  R. Federer (SUI)
Not Before 6:30 pm
[WC] D. Shapovalov (CAN) vs A. Mannarino (FRA)
 A. Zverev (GER) vs K. Anderson (RSA)
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