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Shapovalov downs Donaldson to reach Eastbourne quarters

Jun 27, 2018
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada
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Hard, clay or grass – court surface doesn’t matter for Denis Shapovalov. He knows how to win anywhere.

Shapovalov proved that today, as he picked up his first win of the grass court season at the Nature Valley International. The 19-year-old Canadian, who has had a stellar sophomore season on the ATP World Tour this year, dispatched Jared Donaldson 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals of the ATP 250 event in Eastbourne.

The match was played evenly for the majority of the first set, with both Shapovalov and his American opponent saving a break point as the set wore on. At the last moment, however, the Canadian was able to secure a break to love, claiming the set 6-4 after a tense 46 minutes of play.

Donaldson, however, has had a few more years of experience on the ATP World Tour and plays with impressive resolve, ultimately willing his way to a break in the seventh game of the second set, to eventually even things up on Eastbourne’s Centre Court.

It was all Shapo in the decisive set, as the World No. 26 pummelled groundstrokes into both corners of the court to move ahead an early break. Although he faced resistance trying to consolidate the break, the Canadian was able to come up with spots of magic to save break points on his serve and eventually sealed the match on a crisp inside-in forehand winner.

Shapovalov, who is seeded third this week at the Nature Valley International, finished the match with an impressive 43 winners to 35 unforced errors, and lost serve just once.

After the match, Shapovalov admitted that the matchup was a tricky one, as he practices frequently with Donaldson and the two know each other’s game comprehensively. When asked about how he’s enjoying the seaside town of Eastbourne, he had few complaints – except one.

“It’s the perfect tournament leading up to a Slam,” he said. “A little quite, small town – I’m really enjoying it, other than the fact that everything closes at like 5:30!”

(Feature photo: Peter Staples/ATP World Tour)