Better late than never to find your best form of the season!

In what has been a spectacular latter half of the 2019 ATP Tour season, Denis Shapovalov just keeps getting better. The Canadian human highlight reel produced top-level tennis to defeat World No. 6 Alexander Zverev 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 in a high-quality thriller at the Rolex Paris Masters.

Shapovalov asserted himself from the very beginning of the match, earning a swift break lead that he quickly consolidated. Attacking the weaker forehand wing of Zverev with penetrating backhands cross court, the Canadian dictated play to earn a second break and ultimately claim the set on the back of 100% of first-serve points won.

The second set was a tighter affair, with the reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion – who qualified for the third year in a row yesterday – finding his range and covering the court with the same tenacity that has seen him win three ATP Masters 1000 crowns, including Rogers Cup back in 2017. After surrendering a break to Zverev, Shapovalov quickly struck back in the seventh game, leveling proceedings.

It was a lengthy twelfth game of the second set that fell the way of Zverev, however, as a few loose errors off the Shapovalov forehand gifted the set to his No. 6-seeded opponent.

In the first-ever third set played between the two (Zverev owns a 2-0 record against Shapovalov), it was the Canadian who struck first, regrouping from the disappointment of losing the second set to break immediately in the third. Not only would he hang on to his break lead, he would consolidate it with another – and after two hours and nine minutes, the match was Shapovalov’s.

The win marks the 20-year-old’s first Top 10 win since defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the fourth round of the Miami Open in March, and the third overall in his career. Also for the third time in his career, he advances to the quarter-finals of a Masters 1000 (Rogers Cup 2017, Miami Open 2019), and will face Gael Monfils or Radu Albot tomorrow for a chance at extending his record in those quarter-finals to a perfect 3-0.

(Feature photo: Christopher Levy)