Shapovalov Beats Fritz, Tiafoe-Chung Suspended In Delray; Thiem Tamed In Rio
by Staff | February 24th, 2018, 1:07 am

The young guns are making their presence felt in Delray Beach this week. With favorites Jack Sock, John Isner, Sam Querrey, Milos Raonic and Juan Martin del Potro all out, the semifinals tomorrow feature 18-year-old Denis Shapovalov against either 20-year-old Frances Tiafoe or Hyeon Chung.

Tiafoe and Chung were suspended after a late evening rain delay called their match with Chung serving down 3-5, 40-40 in the third set. The American already had three match points in that game.

Earlier in the day, Shapovalov ousted fellow youngster Taylor Fritz in the quarterfinals today 7-5, 6-4.

“I played really well,” the 46th-ranked Shapovalov said. “I felt really comfortable from the warm-up. I felt really good with my timing and I returned well when I needed to.”

It will be the Canadian’s second semifinal after reaching the last four in his home event last summer.

In the other semifinal, American veteran Steve Johnson meets Peter Gojowczyk who toppled the towering Reilly Opelka in straights.

In Rio, Fabio Fognini advanced into the semifinals after a contentious win over Aljaz Bedene. Fognini will next face Fernando Verdasco who stunned Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-0. The other semifinal pits Diego Schwartzman against Nicolas Jarry.

Indoors in Marseille, Tomas Berdych takes on NextGen hope Karen Khachanov. Ilya Ivashka, who just got a retirement win over Stan Wawrinka, followed up with a good win over Nicholas Mahut. He’ll battle another Frenchman in Lucas Pouille in the semifinals.

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13 Comments for Shapovalov Beats Fritz, Tiafoe-Chung Suspended In Delray; Thiem Tamed In Rio

rognadfan Says:

Wow, Little timmy boy really has verdasco on his head but still, bageled?

So much for ‘HR’s pick to be a litle Nadal. His forehand stroke has such a depressingly long preparation that I find it TH #1 hinderance to real stardom (i.e., >= 1 slam wins).

Honestly, anyone whose normal tendency is to play literally attached to the first row of seats on the stands is really unlikely to win a grand slam (unless it’s Rafa). He needs to learn how to play closer to the baseline.

Kimberly Says:

I was at both the shapilov and the tiafoe matches yesterday in Delray Beach. We got there around 6 and both Tiafoe and Chung were practicing. Tiafoe was super friendly to everyone.

Then we watches the Shapolivov Fritz match and there really wasn’t much rythum, not a lot of rallies. Shapolivov basically goes for it every point and not many long points. After the match Fritz was nice he still posed for photos and signed autographs for Colin12 and friend!Even though its US you felt the crowd was behind Denis.

The Tiafoe/Chung match was heavily partisan in Tiafoe favor, a lot fo Friday night drinking and energy and the points were spectacular. The first set it seemed no matter what Francis did he just couldn’t get the ball by Chung. But he kept a good attitude and kept competing with great energy. The key was for him to use variety and shorten points. CHung court coverage too good and so solid that the longer the points went the more it favored him. So when he broke in the second set it brought down the house. Then he was serving in the 130s, coming to net, drop shotting, and really in groove. And then it rained. So hopefully he can close it out today but was one of the more entertaining matches I have been to (although nothing compares to Federer Kyrgios last year still)

Andrew Miller Says:

Shapovalov has a nice game. He’s rising quickly up the rankings and has proven he can handle events outside Canada. Seems to have a thirst for competing.

Humble Rafa Says:

Andrew Miller Says:
Shapovalov has a nice game.

Have you seen how hit an umpire with a ball? Such precision. Still I shouldn’t be too hard on him. He is one of the kids who could be baby Humble. So I have an open mind.

Kiddo, whatever you do in life, don’t hit an umpire – intentionally or unintentionally.

Markus Says:

Hopefully, the young players would gain a lot of confidence from how well they played this week. Shapovalov vs Tiafoe would be very interesting. From Kimberley’s observation, they seem to be nice kids, too.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Tiafoe is the next American star. He’s been brilliant in a few marquee losses- it was only a matter of time before he started winning. Last years breakout teens (Shapovalov, Chung, Kachenov, Tiafoe) are ready this year at least to join the Zverev/ Thiem/ Kyrgios ranks – although its a dubious honour, taking whatever scraps Rafa and Fed leave them.

skeezer Says:

Congrats Tiafoe, great solid win against another up and comer.
@TV you like his FH though?

rognadfan Says:

I was going to ask TV the exact same thing.
To me, His forehand seems to be destined to disappoint when as he reaches closer to the top.
I surely hope I am dead wrong. But it somehow reminds me of the trajectory Roddick’s FH followed over his career. And Tiafoe FH is not even as good and massive as 2003-2004 Roddick’s FH.

So a different question, how much better that FH can get from this point forward?

Daniel Says:

Ref FH, he is young and can still make changes, hit it more flat, evolve a bit. But fundamentally I never saw a pro tennis ayer change his FH drastically, specially as they are hitting it in a way for about 10-12 years now at his age.

Humble Rafa Says:

German philanderer Boris Becker changed his forehand at 18 or so. Even after changing it, it was pretty horrendous but it shows that it can be done.

Humble Rafa Says:

Former next American Tennis Hope Mr. Maritime Fishman also changed forehands pretty late in the game.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

I haven’t seen him play recently, I actually can’t remember his FH. I didn’t realize it was a problem.

skeezer Says:

Tiafoe and Gulbis, two FH’s with a hitch.

Top story: Shapovalov, Auger-Aliassime Lead Canada To First Davis Cup Title