Shapovalov stretch forehand

Photo: Martin Sidorjak

Denis Shapovalov played his best tennis in months in the third round of the U.S. Open on Saturday, but it still wasn’t enough to defeat no. 9 seed Andrey Rublev at the final Grand Slam event of the season.

The two players battled for over four hours in front of a packed Grandstand Court, going shot for shot over five sets before Rublev came out on top in the fifth set 10-point tiebreak after saving four match points to post a memorable 6-4, 2-6, 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-6(7). Proof of how close the match was: Shapovalov actually won one more point (184) than his opponent (183) and still came up just short.

The 23-year-old Canadian can leave Flushing Meadows with his head held high after his performance on Saturday. He showcased all his incredible shot-making ability and signature fight to push the world no. 11 to the limit in arguably the match of the tournament on the men’s side. He hit 76 winners, many of the highlight reel variety, and won 79% of his first serve points. Shapovalov also generated 17 break point chances on Rublev’s serve and if he had managed to convert a few more, he would have been the one raising his arms in triumph after match point.

Rublev has now won his last two matches against Shapovalov and leads their head-to-head record 3-2. The loss means that no Canadians remain in U.S. Open singles at the conclusion of the third round.

Fernandez Ousted in Women’s Doubles

After knocking out the second-seeded team of Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula in the opening round of women’s doubles in a hotly contested affair, Leylah Annie Fernandez and Daria Saville lost a close one in round two, falling 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(10) to Dalma Galfi and Bernarda Pera. Fernandez still has mixed doubles with her partner Jack Sock. On Sunday, they’ll face fellow Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski and Max Purcell. Dabrowski is also still alive in women’s doubles alongside Giuliana Olmos.

The junior event will also be getting underway over the weekend with five Canadians competing: Kayla Cross, Mia Kupres, Victoria Mboko, who is seeded no. 9 in the girls’ draw, Jaden Weekes, seeded no. 15 in the boys’ draw, and Annabelle Xu.