Shapovalov at net

Photo: Martin Sidorjak

Denis Shapovalov was unable to build on a promising start in his fourth-round match at Wimbledon on Sunday as a physical ailment prevented him from playing his best in a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 defeat at the hands of Roman Safiullin.

The Canadian, seeded no. 26 in the men’s singles draw, was the superior player in the opening set and took advantage of an early break to jump out to an early lead. Safiullin, ranked no. 92 in the world, bounced back in set two with an early break of his own and needed an extended service game of over 10 minutes at 5-3, which included multiple break point and set point chances for either side before he finally sealed the deal.


The match appeared to be nicely poised at one-set-all with both players performing well, but unfortunately, Shapovalov began to struggle physically in the third frame and was unable to put up much of a fight in the final two sets despite a valiant effort.

The win, the biggest of his career to date, means that Safiullin impressively advances to the quarter-finals in his Wimbledon main draw debut. As for Shapovalov, his Round of 16 showing in 2023 is his best result at the All England Club since 2021 when he reached the semifinals before falling to eventual champion Novak Djokovic.

For Canada’s top singles players, the focus now shifts to the North American summer hard court season which includes a stop on home soil in Montreal and Toronto at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers next month.