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Home   News   CHAMPION! Shapovalov strikes gold in Stockholm for first ATP title

CHAMPION! Shapovalov strikes gold in Stockholm for first ATP title

Oct 20, 2019
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada

Denis Shapovalov is the champion at the Intrum Stockholm Open following a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Filip Krajinovic to claim his maiden ATP title.

Canadian tennis in 2019 just keeps getting better. Following in the footsteps of three-time ATP Tour finalist Félix Auger-Aliassime and US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, Shapovalov finally notched a significant milestone in his career, winning his first ATP title without dropping a set, finally consolidating years of promise since his first major breakthrough at Rogers Cup in 2017.

He came into the final as the favourite against an unseeded opponent, but how would he fare under new and unfamiliar pressure?

It was all Shapovalov in the first set as he rifled off service winner after service winner, not allowing Krajinovic any looks on serve and pressuring the Serbian in nearly every one of his own service games. After breaking early in the third game of the match, the 20-year-old held on to the lead with ease to claim the set in 37 minutes.

Krajinovic, ranked at No. 60 in the world and also in search of his first tour-level title, was finally able to make inroads on the Shapovalov serve, generating a break chance in the fourth game that was ultimately snuffed out by steely baseline play from the Canadian. From there, the No. 4 seed raised his game, pushing Krajinovic in several marathon return games before finally breaking through in the ninth game of the second set.

If Shapovalov was nervous serving out his first championship, you wouldn’t have been able to tell. Four quick points and one last Krajinovic ball that was unable to trickle over the net – and Canada had its first ATP Tour titlist since Milos Raonic back in 2016.

The win sees Shapovalov, who was previously 0-7 in ATP Tour semi-finals and was playing in his first career final at the top level of the sport, vault up to No. 27 in the rankings, edging him past compatriot Milos Raonic. This marks the first time that he and No. 18-ranked Félix Auger-Aliassime will occupy the Canadian No. 2 and No. 1 spots, respectively, as Raonic continues to struggle with injury.

Up next for Shapovalov is the Erste Bank Open in Vienna, where he faces off against Pablo Carreño Busta in the first round.

(Feature photo: Intrum Stockholm Open)