Denis Shapovalov looks at the ball and prepares to hit a forehand

Photo : Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

No. 3 seed Denis Shapovalov continues to cruise through the draw of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, defeating Jeremy Chardy this Thursday morning in the quarter-finals. Shapovalov broke serve at the end of each set to seal a 7-5, 6-4 victory and booked the first semi-final berth in Dubai.

Unthreatened on serve for most of the match, Shapovalov dropped a mere six points on his service games, and did not face a single break point. Chardy, who is known for his great power off his forehand and serve, could not keep up with the Ontarian and conceded his serve to love at 6-5 in the first set and again at 4-4 in the second set. From there, Shapovalov never looked back, ultimately closing out the match in straight sets.

Chardy came into the tournament showing great form: prior to this week, he had already registered two semi-final results in ATP 250 tournaments this year and one quarter-final at the ATP 500 in Rotterdam, where he lost to eventual champion and World No. 8 Andrey Rublev. In Dubai this week, that run of form continued as he posted great wins against No. 9 and No. 8 seeds Alex de Minaur and Karen Khachanov, respectively, both in three sets.

In his debut at the ATP 500 event in Dubai, Shapovalov has been full of confidence and proven to be too strong for his opponents. The World No. 11 posted routine wins in his first two rounds, and the first set against Chardy in today’s match was the closest he played this week so far. The last time the Canadian got this far in a tournament without dropping a set, he went on to win his lone title, at the Stockholm Open. In that occasion, he finished the tournament with all wins in straight sets.

While seeking his biggest title to date in this week’s prolific ATP 500 event, Denis Shapovalov is no stranger when it comes to playing on the world’s biggest stages, with his best result being a championship match at the Paris Rolex Masters, where he lost to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

Up next for Shapovalov in the semis will be South African qualifier Lloyd Harris.

Harris, currently ranked at No. 81, is not to be underestimated: the 24-year-old from Cape Town is coming to this match on the back of wins against Stanislas Wawrinka last week in Doha, and World No. 4 Dominic Thiem in the second round of this week’s tournament. His best result at an ATP event was at the Great Ocean Road Open in Adelaide in 2020, where he reached the final (l. Rublev).

Denis Shapovalov will play for a place in the final tomorrow morning not before 9am EST.