Photo: Martin Sidorjak
Playing in the last match of the day at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Denis Shapovalov defeated Taro Daniel of Japan in the round of 16 to advance to his third quarter-final of the season.
So far this week, Shapovalov has taken down Marton Fucsovics (4-6, 6-4, 7-5) and Daniel (6-4, 6-3). He’s playing elite tennis and will look to keep it going against qualifier Ricardas Berankis in the quarter-finals.
It was the second meeting between Shapovalov and Daniel – the Canadian winning the first one in straight sets at the 2019 Australian Open. Today’s bout followed a similar narrative to their match in Melbourne, as Shapovalov dominated in the service department and didn’t concede any break points.
In the opening set, Shapovalov was serving brilliantly and only dropped a single point on serve. The sixth-seeded Canadian was playing lights out, and Daniel couldn’t get anything going. Shapovalov had the only break of the set in the seventh game.
The second set was more of the same as Shapovalov continued to cruise in his service games. Daniel did have a look at break in the second game, but Shapovalov quickly turned it aside. In the seventh game, just like he did in the first set, Shapovalov broke Daniel and took complete control of the match. The Canadian would eventually clinch the contest in the ninth game on his first match point opportunity.
Shapovalov won 88 per cent of first-serve points, 89 per cent of second-serve points, and saved the lone break point chance he faced. He’ll be pleased with today’s performance and will hope to keep that momentum going as he has his eyes set on his first singles semi-final of the season.