Photo: Martin Sidorjak
Denis Shapovalov advanced to the final of the Eugene Korea Open Tennis Championships in Seoul, an ATP 250 event, on Saturday thanks to a 7-5 6-4 victory over American Jenson Brooksby.
The 23-year-old Canadian continued his aggressive play which helped propel him into the final four without dropping a set. The tournament’s fourth seed hit a total of 24 winners in his first encounter against Brooksby and rallied from a break down in the opening frame to advance to his first ATP final of the season. He’s up two spots to no. 22 on the ATP rankings thanks to his run in Seoul this week.
“I am very happy with my performance today,” Shapovalov said after the match. “Jenson is a super tricky opponent, and I am just happy to win today and be in the finals.”
On Sunday, Shapovalov will contest the fifth ATP final of his career and first since Stockholm last November. Four of the five have come at the 250 level. He also played for top honours at the Paris Masters event in 2019, falling to Novak Djokovic at the last hurdle. He captured his lone ATP singles title in 2019 at Stockholm.
In tomorrow’s championship match, Shapovalov will face world no. 56 Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan who beat American lucky loser Aleksandar Kovacevic 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in the second semifinal. Nishioka came out on top in their only previous meeting, a tight three-setter, in Shenzhen, China four years ago. He also played for the title in Washington this summer, finishing as the runner-up to Nick Kyrgios. Regardless of Sunday’s result, this is Shapovalov’s best individual result of 2022 after reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in January and the semifinals in Dubai. He was also part of the Canadian team that won the ATP Cup in Sydney.