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Shapovalov storms into Delray Beach semifinals

Feb 23, 2018
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada

It was a glimpse of the future in Friday’s quarterfinal match against Denis Shapovalov and USA’s Taylor Fritz, with the Canadian coming out on top in their first career meeting. Shapovalov advanced to his first semifinal of the 2018 season with a strong 7-5, 6-4 win in 1 hour, 16 minutes.

The first set was as close as the scoreline suggests. Neither player was able to work up a break point opportunity in the early stages. Shapovalov earned the first break chances of the match at 5-5, 15-40. He was able to convert on his first break point with a backhand down-the-line return winner on Fritz’s first serve.

Shapovalov served out the set 7-5 in 38 minutes.

Shapovalov continued to maintain a tight grasp on his service games while pressuring his opponent. Even at 3-3 in the second, Shapovalov pushed Fritz around the baseline until he could unload a forehand winner to give himself the break lead.

Shapovalov faced his first test on serve in the following game when his sixth double fault caused him to go down 15-40, but he was able to rally and hold for 5-3. It was one-way traffic from there as Shapovalov took the set 6-4. He hit nine aces and won 86% of his first service points.

This is Shapovalov’s first semifinal appearance since his emphatic run to the Coupe Rogers semifinals last August in Montreal. He will play either no. 8 seed Hyeon Chung or Frances Tiafoe on Saturday.