Denis Shapovalov lunges for a forehand.

Photo: Martin Sidorjak

Denis Shapovalov was unable to keep it rolling after his great start at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, falling in the quarter-finals of the singles to Arthur Rinderknech on Friday in straight-sets.

The top seed in Doha had only dropped four games in his 53-minute opening match win, but struggled to find a rhythm in the windy conditions against the Frenchman, who scored a 6-4, 6-4 upset.

However, it was not all bad news as later in the day, he advanced to the doubles final alongside partner Rohan Bopanna.

Self-inflicted wounds were costly for Shapovalov in his singles match, as he committed 23 unforced errors and nine double faults. He found himself playing defense on his own serve for much of the match, facing ten break points and surrendering a pair.

Meanwhile, Rinderknech took care of business on his own serve, winning 76 percent of his total service points, only dropping 13 total points on his own delivery.

The Canadian is now just 1-2 since reaching the Australian Open quarter-finals.

One bad service game cost Shapovalov the opening set, as the Canadian let a 40-love lead slip away at 3-all before double-faulting on break point. That was the lone break of the opening set.

Things went from bad to worse for the top seed as he was broken in a 10-minute opening game of the second set to immediately lose the initiative.

Service games continued to be a challenge for Shapovalov, who had to save a number of break points just to stay in the match. The final nail in his coffin came at 3-4 in the second set when Shapovalov went up love-40 on the Frenchman’s serve, but was unable to convert any of the break points.

A few hours later, however, Shapovalov bounced back for a big win in doubles as he and Bopanna defeated Mackenzie McDonald and Botic van de Zandschulp in straight sets to reach the final. They will play third seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski in the final.

This will be Shapovalov’s second career doubles final, and first since June 2019 in Stuttgart, also with Bopanna. It is a second meeting in as many weeks with Koolhof and Skupski, who beat the Canadian/Indian team last week in Rotterdam.

Next up for the Canadian is the loaded ATP 500 event next week in Dubai, where he reached the semi-finals in 2021.