Photo: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
Denis Shapovalov has reached the first Grand Slam quarter-final of his career thanks to an impressive victory over the seventh seed David Goffin of Belgium in Flushing Meadows. He also becomes the first Canadian man to reach the quarter-finals at the US Open in the Open Era.
Shapovalov and Goffin had only played on one previous occasion in Tokyo last October. The match was a close contest and ended with the Canadian falling in two tiebreaks.
In their fourth round match on Sunday, the players engaged in a number of long rallies and played a tight opening set, which would eventually require a tiebreak. It was Goffin who managed to take advantage of a few errors from Shapovalov and take the lead after over an hour of play.
Shapovalov earned the first break of the match early in the second set, jumping out to a quick lead. He would continue his solid play throughout the set and manage to level the score. The third set was a repeat of the previous one, as the Canadian converted on an early break point, which was all he needed to take the lead in the match. Shapovalov’s level elevated as the match went on, while his opponent began committing more errors.
Goffin’s serving woes continued into the fourth set. He notably served a double fault giving Shapovalov the early lead for the third time in the match. For his part, the Canadian had an all-around strong performance, playing well as much from the baseline as he did at the net. Although he seemed in control of the match, he did not let his guard down and continued to play aggressive tennis. Up by two breaks, Shapovalov encountered a few difficulties while serving for the match, but broke Goffin in the following service game to clinch the victory by a score of 6-7(0), 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.
“It’s a really proud moment for me. It’s pretty crazy how far I’ve come. Today was an extremely tough match, I’m definitely tired, but also incredibly happy. I’m excited for doubles on Monday and will try to recover as quickly as possible for my next matches,” stated a clearly enthused Shapovalov.
Up next for Shapovalov will be Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain, who moved into the quarter-finals after Novak Djokovic was defaulted due to an unfortunate situation during their match. In the head-to-head, Shapovalov has only defeated Carreno Busta once, with the Spaniard winning their three other encounters, including in 2017 when he halted Shapovalov’s stellar run in the fourth round.
The Canadian is also still in doubles action, as he is set to play his quarter-final match with partner Rohan Bopanna on Monday afternoon.