Photo: Martin Sidorjak
The wins keep on coming for Denis Shapovalov in 2022.
The Canadian defeats World No. 3 Alexander Zverev in spectacular fashion on Sunday afternoon in Melbourne, Australia, and punches his ticket to the Australian Open quarter-finals. The 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-3 victory extends Shapovalov’s winning streak to a career-best seven matches. It was also his second win over a Top 5 opponent in his career.
Today’s bout in Margaret Court Arena was the seventh meeting between Shapovalov and Zverev. After dropping his first three matches to the German, Shapovalov has now won three of their last four contests.
Shapovalov came out all guns blazing in the opening set. He hit 14 winners to just 8 for Zverev and won 83 per cent of first-serve points en route to capturing the set 6-3. That was the first set dropped by the World No. 3 this week at Melbourne Park.
The Canadian carried that momentum into the second set, breaking the German’s opening service game. Zverev looked sluggish in the early goings of the set but was able to turn it around in the fourth game to tie the set at two games all. Shapovalov and Zverev exchanged breaks in the eighth and ninth games and the set eventually required a tiebreak.
The return of serve was key in the tiebreak, as there was a total of seven mini-breaks between the two players. While leading 6-4 and serving for the set, Shapovalov committed an untimely double-fault to give Zverev some life in the set. However, leaving the mistake behind him, Shapovalov was clutch and clinched the set on the return of serve instead.
The third set was completely dominated by Shapovalov. He won 82 per cent of points on first serves and 28 per cent of points returning Zverev’s serves. It was truly a beautiful display of tennis from the 14th seed.
Shapovalov’s next match will be against another top-5 opponent, 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal. A win over the Spanish legend would send Shapovalov to his second Grand Slam semi-final.