Photo: Peter Staples/ATP Tour
It was a big day for Denis Shapovalov!
He booked his spot in the semi-finals at the Masters 1000 event in Rome, notched his 100th tour-level win and inches his way closer to the ATP Top 10.
After a dep run to the quarter-finals at the US Open last week, Shapovalov is continuing his momentum into the clay court season. The 12th seed in Rome, his best previous result at this event came in 2018 when he fell to Rafael Nadal in the third round.
In his quarter-final match on Saturday against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, the Canadian got off to a splendid start, capitalizing on his opponent’s errors and breaking him early in the opening set. Dictating the majority of the rallies, he needed only 33 minutes to take the lead in the match.
The second set proved to be a bit trickier for the young Canuck, as he experienced some difficulties in his services games, notably committing three double faults and firing a low first service percentage. Dimitrov would break him late to force a third and decisive set.
Determined to bounce back after a slight dip in the second, Shapovalov raced off to a quick lead in the third set. After converting on an early break, he put his foot on the gas and never looked back. He broke his opponent once again at the end to take the match, winning by a score of 6-2, 3-6, 6-2. This is the 21-year-old’s first career win over Dimitrov, having lost to the former world no. 3 in their two previous meetings.
In the semi-finals on Sunday, Shapovalov will face the winner of the match between the no. 2 seed Rafael Nadal and Diego Schwartzman.