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Denis dazzles in Bratislava, keeps Canada’s hopes alive

Feb 02, 2019
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada

Denis does it again!

Featuring an array of brilliant shotmaking and his vintage fighting spirit, 19-year-old Denis Shapovalov battled his way to a 7-6(4), 6-4 win over Slovakian No. 1 and World No. 38 Martin Klizan, levelling the Davis Cup Qualifiers tie with the home nation at 2-2.

Despite dropping the doubles rubber alongside compatriot and best buddy Félix Auger-Aliassime earlier in the day in a tough three-setter, Shapovalov was able to recover and refocus in time to take on the hot-and-cold Klizan, whose tennis can range anywhere from brilliant to benign.

The first set was a tense affair, with the Canadian missing out on six set points before finally converting on his seventh in a tiebreak that saw multiple swings in momentum. The second set was played with similar intensity, with neither player loosening their grip on their service games until a visibly tired Klizan allowed Shapovalov a look at break points. After several lung-busting rallies, it was Shapovalov who secured what would ultimately be the decisive break. After one hour, 45 minutes, Canada earned its second point of the tie after one last Klizan error.

Félix Auger-Aliassime will play Norbert Gombos in the decisive fifth rubber.

(Feature photo: Mauricio Paiz)