Photo: camerawork USA
Fourth-seeded Denis Shapovalov wrapped up his run at the San Diego tournament with a 6-3, 6-1 loss to Cameron Norrie of Great Britain in Friday’s quarter-finals. The Canadian, who is still looking for his first ATP Tour title this year, was playing in his first quarter-final match since Wimbledon, where he defeated Karen Khachanov before losing to the eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the semifinals.
Although Shapovalov, no. 13 in the world, was seen as the favourite, the matchup was expected to be very promising due to Norrie’s great results so far in 2021. The Brit has enjoyed the best season of his career. He captured his first ATP title (Los Cabos) and has 37 wins this year en route to a personal best ranking of no. 28 in the world. The only time the two players had faced each other previously was in the semifinals at Queens in the spring. Norrie came out on top in straight sets 7-5, 6-3.
The match did not start well for the Richmond Hill, Ontario native. With the score tied at 3-3, Norrie managed to raise his level of play to earn the first break of the match. The Brit was not to be denied for the remainder of the opening set and jumped out to a 6-3 lead.
Clearly feeling confident, Norrie continued his excellent performance in the second set. Despite Shapovalov’s repeated attempts to get back into the match, the 26-year-old Brit relied on his serve (86% first serve percentage) to quickly take a 4-1 lead. He claimed victory a few minutes later by a 6-1 score after one hour and seven minutes of play.
This is Norrie’s sixth semifinal appearance of the season. He previously reached the semifinals in Los Cabos (v. Taylor Fritz), Queens (v. Shapovalov), Lyon (v. Karen Khachanov), Estoril (v. Marin Cilic) and Delray Beach (v. Sebastian Korda). He will now face the winner of the match between no. 1 seed Andrey Rublev (Russia) and sixth-seeded Diego Schwartzman (Argentina). He has a career record of two wins and one loss against Schwartzman and is 0-1 against Rublev.
For his part, Shapovalov will be looking to build on his recent performances in California as he prepares for the Indian Wells tournament set to be held from October 7-15. He will also be looking to finish strong in the ATP rankings, having reached a career-best no. 10 in the world this summer.