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Shapovalov soars into Madrid semifinals after Edmund epic

May 11, 2018
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada

Denis Shapovalov’s run in Madrid continues!

After never having won a tour-level match on clay prior to the Mutua Madrid Open this week, the 19-year-old is the youngest semifinalist in the Spanish capital ever, eclipsing the record set by none other than Rafael Nadal in 2005. He defeated Kyle Edmund 7-5, 6-7(6), 6-4 in the quarterfinals in a dramatic two-hour, 28-minute match.

Shapovalov got off to a rocky start, quickly falling behind a break to Edmund, who earlier this week conquered two-time Madrid Open champion Novak Djokovic. He was able to level the first set and steal a break at the last moment, as the Briton’s forehand began to misfire.

Both players remained firm behind their serves in the second set, with both saving break points but persevering towards a tiebreak, when controversy struck. At 5-5, 30-30, a fan called out as Shapovalov struck a serve; Edmund, distracted by the noise, stopped as an ace whizzed past him and was denied a replay by the umpire. The fan was ejected and the match continued, as the Canadian was soon-after able to earn a match point on the Edmund serve. He was unable to convert, and following a tense tiebreak, was headed to a third and decisive set.

The third set was smooth sailing for Shapovalov, as he earned an early break of serve as Edmund wavered, and served the match out to love with a series of huge winners, capped off with an ace.

“I’m happy to be in the semifinals, I never knew when my next time being in a semis would be,” said Shapovalov, reflecting on his last Masters 1000 semifinal in Montreal last summer. “I’m more than thrilled to be there. Hopefully I can go even further.

“But it’s been an unbelievable week for me, especially on this surface,” he added. “So it’s just a massive confidence booster. Yeah, hopefully I can take it forward.”

Shapovalov finished the match with a tidy stats sheet, striking 11 aces and winning 80% of first-serve points. He was able to break serve three times, and only dropped serve once himself. By reaching his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semifinal — his first coming at Rogers Cup last season, the current World No. 43 will see his ranking skyrocket into the Top 30, guaranteeing him a seeding at Roland Garros in two weeks’ time.

Up next for the 19-year-old is either John Isner or Alexander Zverev.

(Feature photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)