Denis Shapovalov isn’t shying away from the spotlight. The 18-year-old lit up Montreal earlier this month beating Rafael Nadal en route to the semifinals at his home event.
But now he’s under the bright lights and the big city of New York, and in the biggest tennis stadium in the world against a top player in Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the teen didn’t flinch in a straight set win last night.
“I was going in with nothing to lose,” Shapovalov said. “I was having fun on the court. There were a couple times during the match I was just smiling, having a good time. I was enjoying the atmosphere. It’s a dream come true for me to play a night match on Arthur Ashe. I mean, I grew up wanting to do this.
“First of all, thank you to USTA for setting that up. But, yeah, I think I had a very fun night.
Shapovalov had to qualify just to get in, and in five matches so far he’s lost just one set!
“This win, it’s definitely another confidence boost,” he said. “It shows that Montreal wasn’t a fluke week. To do it back-to-back, it’s not easy. I’ve had to go through qualifying, which is also stacked with super tough players.”
Shapovalov now takes on Brit Kyle Edmund in a fairly open section of the draw.
“I’m playing Kyle Edmund who is so solid,” said Shapovalov. “He’s an unbelievable player. He goes for his shots. He’s not afraid to take it to the guy. There’s no easy matches here.
“Maybe for a guy like Zverev or Federer, you could say it’s open a bit. For a guy like me, every match is tough and I’m going to have to battle it out.”
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