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Brilliant Shapo beats Berrettini, reaches St. Petersburg quarterfinals

Sep 20, 2018
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada

Now that’s how you close out a match.

After two tight sets against rising Italian Matteo Berrettini, Denis Shapovalov sprinted towards the finish line, striking winner after winner to emphatically seal a 7-6(6), 4-6, 6-0 victory in just under two hours.

Set one was played evenly, with both players dictating efficiently off their strong first serves. Shapovalov, who in the previous round dropped just two points behind his first serve, continued to hit the lines, compared to more conservative baseline play from the 22-year-old Italian. It proved to be difference in the tiebreak, with Shapovalov fearlessly closing out the set with a smash winner.

Both players held their serves until the final game of the second set, where the Canadian’s high-risk style began to leak unforced errors, eventually handing a break – and the set – to Berrettini. But Shapovalov’s exceptional 23-5 record this season after winning the first set would ultimately tell the tale, as he finally secured a break of the Italian’s serve early on in the third and never looked back. The Canadian would blitz the Swiss Open champion 6-0 in just 23 minutes with a flurry of electric shot-making.

The win sees Shapovalov into his third quarterfinal of 2018, where he’ll play fellow-lefty Martin Klizan for a spot in the semifinals. Shapovalov has a 2-0 record in his quarterfinals this season, with semifinal finishes in Delray Beach and the Masters 1000 event in Madrid – both times losing to the eventual champion.

Will the 19-year-old be able to make it one step further in St. Petersburg and reach his first ATP World Tour final?

(Feature photo: worldsportsmemorabilia.info)