Denis Shapovalov, of Canada, serves to David Goffin, of Belgium, during the fourth round of the US Open tennis championships, Sunday, Sept. 6, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Canada’s Denis Shapovalov into quarterfinals at U.S. Open

“Definitely super exciting to be in my first quarterfinals of a Grand Slam”

NEW YORK — Denis Shapovalov has become the first Canadian to ever reach the quarterfinals in men’s singles at the U.S. Open following a four-set victory over No. 7 seed David Goffin of Belgium on Sunday.

The 12th-seeded Shapovalov toppled Goffin: 6-7 (7), 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in the fourth round of the Grand Slam tournament to advance.

“Definitely super exciting to be in my first quarterfinals of a Grand Slam,” Shapovalov said.

“I knew it was going to be a battle out there, a lot of long rallies. I tried to match his steadiness while still trying to play my game and be aggressive when I had the opportunity. I feel like all four sets I executed that really well.”

He will face No. 20 seed Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain in the quarters. The Spaniard got into the final eight when No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic was defaulted — the tennis equivalent of an ejection — from their fourth-round match after he accidentally hit a line judge with a tennis ball.

“I played him I think four times. I think it’s 3-1 for him. He’s beaten me every time on hard courts. It’s definitely going to be an extremely tough, tough challenge,” Shapovalov said.

Shapovalov was broken only once and it came in the fourth set, while converting five break points against his opponent. He fired 13 aces and 52 winners.

Shapovalov gave up the first set on a tiebreaker before taking the next three.

He broke Goffin for the first time on his sixth opportunity, with some help, as the Belgian double faulted to give the Canadian a 3-1 lead and a chance to even things in the second set.

The 21-year-old left-hander broke Goffin a second time in the opening game of the third set, then held serve to go up 2-0 and cruised from there for a 2-1 advantage.

Shapovalov converted his third break point to make it 2-1 in the fourth set, and Goffin couldn’t hold serve with the Canadian breaking him a fourth time to go up 4-1.

Goffin hung around and finally broke Shapovalov to make it 5-3 only for the native of Richmond Hill, Ont., to convert a break point on the next game to take the match.

Shapovalov, ranked No. 17 but seeded 12th at the Grand Slam tournament that’s missing some top stars, came into the match 0-1 against 29-year-old Goffin in his career. The previous loss came last year on a hardcourt ATP 500 event in Tokyo.

With reigning U.S. Open champion Rafael Nadal, who cited concerns about travelling amid the pandemic, and Roger Federer, sidelined after two knee operations, not in the field, the 33-year-old Djokovic from Serbia was expected to claim a fourth trophy in New York.

In 2017, Shapovalov was also defaulted from a Davis Cup match against Britain when he accidentally hit the chair umpire in the face with a ball.

“I’ve been through that myself. Honestly, I feel awful for him. I feel terrible for everybody. Nobody wants to be in this situation,” Shapovalov said. “Just a fluke. It’s accidents like this that happen. Same thing with me.”

Djokovic’s departure means there is no man left in the field who has won a Grand Slam singles title. Whoever emerges as champion will be the first first-time major trophy winner in men’s tennis since 2014, when Marin Cilic won the U.S. Open.

Plus, each of the last 13 Grand Slam trophies had been won by a member of the Big Three of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.

“This is definitely not the way we wanted to have a new Grand Slam champion,” Shapovalov said, before noting: “It’s been getting pretty boring with these three guys winning every tournament.”

Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., is one of three Canadian men to play into the Round of 16, along with Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal and Vasek Pospisil of Vancouver.

That’s the most Canadian men to have advanced to the fourth round of the event in the same year. But no Canadian man had reached the quarterfinals in the history of the U.S. Open, going 0-12 in the round of 16 before Shapovalov on Sunday.

Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., won the women’s singles championship in New York a year ago.

Auger-Aliassime and Pospisil both play their respective fourth-round matches Monday.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Red Deer has nine active COVID-19 cases

Number of cases increased by 107 Friday

Vaping persists amongst Canadian youth

New survey into vaping habits of youth

Man sentenced to 7 years for gas-and-dash death of Alberta gas station owner

Ki Yun Jo was killed after Mitchell Sydlowski sped off in a stolen cube van without paying for $198 of fuel

Skydivers raise money for Kids Cancer Care at Innisfail Airport

A group of Albertans proved they would go to new heights to… Continue reading

Notley to stay on as Alberta NDP leader for 2023 provincial election

The NDP took almost all of Edmonton but few seats outside of the city

Vancouver Whitecaps fighting for playoff position on U.S. road trip

Vancouver Whitecaps fighting for playoff position on U.S. road trip

Toronto FC expects to play six games in home away from home in East Hartford

Toronto FC expects to play six games in home away from home in East Hartford

Reed takes the lead as the real US Open gets started

Reed takes the lead as the real US Open gets started

Eflin fans 9, Harper homers, Phillies blank Blue Jays 7-0

Eflin fans 9, Harper homers, Phillies blank Blue Jays 7-0

Citrus vs. Cactus: Tampa-Dallas NHL final is duel of former coaching associates

Citrus vs. Cactus: Tampa-Dallas NHL final is duel of former coaching associates

Billions more for health care tops premiers’ wish list for throne speech

Billions more for health care tops premiers’ wish list for throne speech

Partial closure of Canada-U.S. border extended to Oct. 21

Partial closure of Canada-U.S. border extended to Oct. 21

Provinces crack down as COVID-19 cases soar across much of Canada

Provinces crack down as COVID-19 cases soar across much of Canada

Most Read