Denis Shapovalov’s exceptional run of Fall form continued Friday at the Rolex Paris Masters as he put on a masterclass of all-court tennis to upset Gael Monfils – and Monfils’ bid to reach the Nitto ATP Finals – with a 6-2, 6-2 decision in just under an hour of play.
Unbelievable tennis… again. ✨
Denis Shapovalov dismisses Gael Monfils by an emphatic 6-2, 6-2 scoreline to reach the #RolexParisMasters semi-finals and guarantee himself a Top 20 finish in 2019.
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) November 1, 2019
Proceedings couldn’t have started better for the Canadian, who quickly jumped out to an early break lead over the Frenchman, who was unable to muster any form of resistance despite the ardent backing of his home crowd. Aiming for the lines – and hitting them, Shapovalov was able to move Monfils around with ease before finishing off his points with open-court winners or picture-perfect volleys.
After less than half an hour, Shapovalov found himself one set away from the semis in front of a silenced AccorHotels Arena.
But the truth is, they weren’t really silent. Notoriously partisan in allegiance whenever one of their own is playing on home soil, the French crowd and their penchant for flashy tennis was tapped by the 20-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ontario as he painted the lines with backhands and curled in forehands with the trajectory of a Parisian croissant.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 1, 2019
There was no dip in intensity from Shapovalov in the second set, as it followed a nearly identical script to the first. The World No. 28 – who will return to the Top 20 next week and is guaranteed to finish 2019 within that elite ranking group – fired off one last ace to seal victory.
At the net, Monfils embraced the Canadian with a smile, knowing that the score wasn’t a disservice to his own tennis, rather a reflection of the exceptional level the Shapovalov had achieved. The two had previously met just once before; earlier this season at the US Open where the two played one of the best matches of the tournament – a five-set late-night thriller that fell the way of Monfils.
The proof of the Canadian’s quality was in the numbers: Shapovalov finished with a staggering 22 winners to 16 unforced errors, winning 80% of points played at the net and 23 more points won overall compared to the World No 13.
Up next will be the winner of the Rafael Nadal vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga quarter-final played later in the day.