Canadian Denis Shapovalov off to quarterfinals at Paris Masters

Canadian Denis Shapovalov off to quarterfinals at Paris Masters

PARIS — Canada’s Denis Shapovalov has recorded his second upset victory in as many days at the Paris Masters.

The 20-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont., beat No. 6 seed Alexander Zverev of Germany 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 in the round of 16 on Thursday.

The latest win came just over 24 hours after Shapovalov, ranked 28th in the world, knocked off No. 11 seed Fabio Fognini of Italy.

The victory over Zverev was Shapovalov’s first in four career matches against the German. It raised the Canadian’s record against top-10 opponents to 3-13.

“Yeah definitely (happy),” Shapovalov said. “I’ve never beat (Zverev) before so it’s an amazing feeling.

“The quality of tennis was unbelievable today so I was really happy with the way I was able to play.”

Shapovalov saved 11 of 13 break points and won 83 per cent of his points when he got his first serve in, well better than Zverev’s 64 per-cent success rate.

Shapovalov said he felt good with his game througout the match, even while dropping the second set.

I felt like I was the better player in the second set, I felt like I had a little bit more chances than he did,” Shapovalov said. “I told myself: ‘just regroup, try to get a good start (in the third set)’ and that’s exactly what happened and after that I just kinda rolled with it.”

The Canadian will face No. 13 seed Gael Monfils of France in the quarterfinals on Friday. Monfils advanced with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 win over Radu Albot of Moldova.

Shapovalov won his first career ATP Tour event in early October in Stockholm.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal beat Stan Wawrinka for the 19th time in 22 meetings, winning 6-4, 6-4.

The two players share 22 Grand Slams, but Nadal has 19 of them and once again established a stranglehold on his Swiss opponent. Wawrinka’s blistering one-handed backhand was as erratic as it was occasionally superb, but Nadal was almost always in control.

“My serve worked well and the volley too,” Nadal said. “I went to the net a couple of times, serve and volley.”

The second-ranked Spaniard was briefly troubled in the first set, saving one break point in the second game and another in the eighth, and then needed some brief medical assistance in the second set for a stomach problem.

“Nothing important, honestly,” Nadal said, brushing away any health concerns. “During the match I was (asking) a little bit if just the doctor can give me something to feel a little bit better.”

Nadal next faces 2008 champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as he chases a first Paris title, which would guarantee him the year-end No.1 ranking for the fifth time.

Tsonga saved two match points in a grueling 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (6) win against big-hitting German Jan-Lennard Struff.

Nadal leads Tsonga 9-4 in their career meetings, with Tsonga’s first win coming in the semifinals of the 2008 Australian Open — which remains the only major final he’s reached. He lost it to Novak Djokovic, who has since added 15 more major titles to join Nadal and 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer as the game’s modern greats.

The top-ranked Serb is seeking a record-tying sixth year-end finish with the top ranking, and remains on course to meet Nadal in the final at Bercy Arena. Earlier, the four-time Paris Masters champion looked closer to his best level, reaching the last eight with a 7-6 (7), 6-1 win against Kyle Edmund.

After needing seven set points to clinch the first set, he reeled off six straight games in the second, finishing it off by breaking his British opponent to love with a two-handed backhand winner into the left corner.

He turned quickly to give his box a look of steely determination and former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic — who joined his coaching team at this year’s Wimbledon — stood to applaud him.

“It was because my coach told me I don’t have a great return. So finishing off with a return winner, I kind of gave him a look. No I’m joking,” said Djokovic, who is widely considered among the game’s greatest ever returners.

He served well, too, winning 89 per cent of first serve points won and conceding no break points. He then peaked with three crisp winners in the last game, including another two-handed backhand and a pinpoint forehand.

“It is great to finish the match in style and to feel the way I felt in the second set,” Djokovic said. “I have not played my best yesterday, so of course I was hoping I can do as well as I did in second set. The look was about that.”

His voice still croaky, Djokovic addressed the crowd in his fast-improving French after the game. He told them in measured tones that he still felt a bit unwell, having laboured at times against the unseeded Corentin Moutet in the second round.

He next faces seventh-seeded Greek player Stefanos Tsitsipas, who had 11 aces in a 6-3, 6-4 win against Alex de Minaur and holds a 2-1 record against Djokovic — including earlier this month in the quarterfinals of the Shanghai Masters.

Grigor Dimitrov advanced by beating Dominic Thiem 6-3, 6-2, breaking the fifth-seeded Austrian’s serve four times. The Bulgarian did not face a break point and next plays Cristian Garin, an unseeded Chilean who saved three match points in a 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-6 (6) win against Jeremy Chardy.

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

Just Posted

Trail RCMP report three impaired driving investigations. Photo: Black Press file
New drunk driving rules allow police to impose tougher penalties immediately

New impaired driving regulations started on Tuesday

(Lacombe Express file photo)
Lacombe County holds the line on taxes

Staff hiring freeze planned for 2021 to make up for lost oil and gas revenue

Alberta premier Jason Kenney declared a public health state of emergency Tuesday and sweeping new measures as COVID-19 cases in the province continue to rise.  (photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta premier says hospitals stressed by COVID-19, more surgeries may be cancelled

EDMONTON — Premier Jason Kenney says Alberta’s largest hospitals are at 91… Continue reading

A cleaner wipes a glass panel at Toronto's Eaton Centre Shopping mall on Saturday, March 21, 2020. The national statistics office will say this morning how much the domestic economy bounced back in the third quarter of the year. The Canadian economy suffered its worst three-month stretch on record in the second quarter as the economy came to a near halt in April before starting to recover in May and June. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Statistics Canada says economy grew at a record pace in third quarter of 2020

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the economy grew at a record annualized… Continue reading

Bill C-4 passed in the House of Commons to authorize new benefits for workers left jobless or underemployed by the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)
Tory MPs keep talking on assisted dying bill as clock ticks down to Dec. 18 deadline

OTTAWA — Conservative MPs are refusing to be rushed into a vote… Continue reading

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

(Black Press File Photo)
Rimbey woman gathering Christmas gifts for seniors at Valleyview Manor

Margaret Tanasiuk says she doesn’t want anyone to feel forgotten on Christmas morning

Mike Miltimore, seen in Kamloops, B.C., in an undated handout photo, says the Gretsch electric guitar that a woman brought into his store is from 1955 and similar to one played by country music legend Chet Atkins before he developed his signature series of guitars. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Mike Miltimore
Guitar made in 1950s worth more than B.C. family imagined

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — When Renee Latheur decided to take an old guitar… Continue reading

Lewis Hamilton won the German Grand Prix after Sebastian Vettel crashed while leading near the end. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Hamilton positive for COVID-19, will miss F1’s Sakhir GP

SAKHIR, Bahrain — Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has tested positive… Continue reading

In this Dec. 19, 2019 file photo, the advertising label of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, shines at their headquarters in Vienna, Austria. Leaders of the OPEC cartel are meeting virtually to decide how much oil their countries should produce as the coronavirus stifles demand for fuel. They’re expected to extend production cuts into the new year in an effort to boost prices. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, File)
OPEC talks on production hit snag as pandemic clouds outlook

FRANKFURT — The OPEC oil producers’ cartel was to push ahead with… Continue reading

Vancouver Whitecaps forward Fredy Montero celebrates after scoring a goal against the Los Angeles Galaxy during the second half of an MLS soccer match in Portland, Ore., Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020. The Vancouver Whitecaps are hanging on to several of their young players and continuing contract talks with two veterans, including Montero. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Steve Dipaola
Whitecaps exercise options on seven players, ‘continuing discussions’ with Montero

Whitecaps exercise options on seven players, ‘continuing discussions’ with Montero

Toronto FC forward Pablo Piatti (7) cuts past Vancouver Whitecaps defender Ali Adnan (53) during first half MLS Canadian Championship soccer action in Toronto on Friday, August 21, 2020. Barring a new agreement, Toronto FC is parting ways with designated player Pablo Piatti. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Toronto FC looks for new designated player, opts not to pick up Piatti option

Toronto FC looks for new designated player, opts not to pick up Piatti option

Hamilton Forge FC players celebrate their win over CD Olimpia's during Scotiabank CONCACAF League 2019 action in Hamilton, Ont., Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019. After a season that has taken it from Hamilton to Charlottetown, El Salvador and Panama, Forge FC hopes the Dominican Republic is the last stop on the way to the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power
Forge FC just one win away from booking ticket to CONCACAF Champions League

Forge FC just one win away from booking ticket to CONCACAF Champions League

A police officer patrols near the Olympic Symbol being transported on a barge in the Odaiba section Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Tokyo. The five Olympic rings are back in Tokyo Bay. They were removed for maintenance four months ago shortly after the Tokyo Olympics were postponed until next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Olympic rings back in Tokyo Bay; a sign of hope in pandemic

Olympic rings back in Tokyo Bay; a sign of hope in pandemic

Most Read