Shapovalov wins in 5 at Open vs. Fritz, who says: ‘Choked’

Shapovalov wins in 5 at Open vs. Fritz, who says: ‘Choked’

Shapovalov wins in 5 at Open vs. Fritz, who says: ‘Choked’

NEW YORK — The situation looked bleak for Denis Shapovalov when his U.S. Open opponent, Taylor Fritz, stepped up to serve for the match while leading 5-3 in the fourth set.

Fritz’s serve is his strength — he’d hit one at 147 mph earlier Saturday — and it looked as if this third-rounder between two young top-20 seeds might be all but over.

Except it wasn’t. Shapovalov broke Fritz there and then got on a real roll en route to a 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 victory across nearly 3 1/2 hours that put the 21-year-old Canadian back in the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since he did it in New York in 2017.

“He was in control,” Shapovalov said. “Saw him get a little bit tight.”

Fritz, a 22-year-old from the U.S., admitted as much.

“I played great and I put in all the work, everything I had to do, and I had it — and I just choked it.”

Five years ago, they were both playing in the junior competition at Flushing Meadows and left with hardware: Fritz won the singles title, Shapovalov the doubles title.

Now here they were in the main event, Shapovalov seeded 12th, Fritz 19th, putting on an entertaining mix of flashy shotmaking and big serves.

“He was playing incredible today. We both deserved to win,” said Shapovalov, a lefty who wears a baseball hat backward. “I got a little bit lucky.”

Shapovalov actually wound up with more aces, 22-18, as Fritz faded, delivering only one in the final set.

It was quickly 3-0 in the fifth for Shapovalov; Fritz said later he dealt with a tweaked lower back and some soreness in his feet.

“I definitely didn’t want to go into the fifth and kind of just be like, ‘Oh, I blew it, that’s it,’” said Fritz, who bowed his head as he walked to the net, his record now 0-4 in third-round matches at Grand Slam tournaments. “I really tried as hard as I could in the fifth to regroup, but he kind of got on top of me early.”

Shapovalov moves on to a match Sunday against No. 7 David Goffin with a quarterfinal berth at stake.

Not making things easy on himself so far, Shapovalov already has played 13 of a possible 15 sets so far, going four each in the first two rounds before this lengthy one.

The again, he’s just 21. And, as he noted, there is not a lot of wear on anyone’s body because of the more than five months the pro tennis tours were suspended because of the pandemic.

“We’ve never had so much of a break,” Shapovalov said, “so the body overall feels pretty fresh.”

LENGTHY DELAY

Adrian Mannarino was preparing to head on court to play in the U.S. Open’s third round when, he explained later, he got word that the state of New York wanted to get involved in whether the 32nd-seeded Frenchman should be allowed to compete.

That’s because Mannarino was one of seven players under extra restrictions during the tournament after contact tracing determined they potentially could have been exposed to COVID-19 by Benoit Paire, the only entrant to test positive.

The city had given the OK for those seven to stay in the draw, Mannarino said, but now the state government was interested in the matter. So the start of the match was delayed and Mannarino — and his opponent, No. 5 Alexander Zverev — awaited a decision.

“It was a weird situation for me. I didn’t know what to think,” Mannarino said. “I was just laying on the sofa, still trying to be focused, just in case I would go on court.”

Eventually he did, heading to the court about 2 1/2 hours later than originally planned, but a groin injury hampered him during a 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 loss to Zverev in Louis Armstrong Stadium.

“I was told that there is very little chance that we were going to play. … I was kind of waiting around and seeing,” Zverev said. “I’m happy that he was able to play, but in the beginning, I was a little bit cold.”

Even though Mannarino’s tournament is done, he can’t head home. He said he was told he must stay in his New York hotel room under quarantine for at least another week.

___

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Howard Fendrich, The Associated Press

Tennis

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

Just Posted

Blank Unemployment Benefits form
Red Deer unemployment rate rises to 10.6 per cent

Red Deer’s unemployment rate rose slightly during the month of April. The… Continue reading

Red Deer teacher Jeremey Spink has been nominated as the NHL/NHLPA Most Valuable Teacher. He is one of 20 teachers in the running across North America for the award in February. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Last day to vote for Red Deer Teacher as NHL Most Valuable Teacher

Eastview Middle School teacher Jeremy Spink is one of three teachers in the running for the award

Starting Monday, golf courses across the province will be limited to their household or for those who live alone, their two close contacts. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Golf in Alberta limited to household or close contacts starting Monday

Golf courses will have new COVID-19 protocols to follow next week. Starting… Continue reading

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr
MLA Ron Orr pleads with Central Albertans to follow COVID-19 rules

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr is changing his tune on COVID-19. Orr originally… Continue reading

People line up at a COVID-19 vaccination centre, Friday, April 23, 2021 in Deux-Montagnes, Que. Canada's two biggest provinces are continuing to ramp up COVID-19 vaccinations as they report lower hospitalization figures.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
COVID-19 rapid tests going to more businesses, Alberta truckers get shots in Montana

Ottawa has introduced new ways for small and medium businesses to get… Continue reading

Alberta Health Services locked the Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror on Wednesday morning after owner Christopher Scott refused to comply with health orders. (Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff)
UPDATED: AHS shuts down Whistle Stop Cafe for defying health orders

Justice minister promises to get tough with those ignoring public health orders

Rona Ambrose is shown during an interview with The Canadian Press in Ottawa, Thursday, May 18, 2017. New judges will have to commit to take training in sexual assault law, thanks to a new law that received royal assent last night. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Judges’ sexual assault training bill receives royal assent after clearing the Senate

OTTAWA, Ohio — New judges will have to commit to take training… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walks to a news conference in Ottawa on Tuesday May 4, 2021. A broad coalition of MPs from all five parties wants the federal government to support waiving the global rules that guard vaccine trade secrets. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
As MPs urge support, Trudeau demurs on whether government backs COVID-19 waiver

WASHINGTON — Justin Trudeau stopped well short Friday of endorsing efforts to… Continue reading

Workers perform ground preparations outside City Hall in Yellowknife on Monday, July 4, 2011. A recent outbreak of COVID-19 cases in Yellowknife is mostly affecting children and youth, the territory’s chief public health officer says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Most of Yellowknife’s COVID-19 cases are in children and youth: public health officer

YELLOWKNIFE — A health official in the Northwest Territories says a recent… Continue reading

Statistics Canada building and signs are pictured in Ottawa on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
A year after jobs data leak, StatCan resumes sharing advance numbers with officials

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada has resumed its practice of giving key federal… Continue reading

jobs - T - 3-6-2020
Job search: 10 ways to make your LinkedIn profile stand out in 2021

In 2021 successful job hunting requires having a LinkedIn profile that’s current… Continue reading

Max Parrot of Canada competes in the men’s snowboard big air final at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. Parrot has won the Comeback of the Year honour at the Laureus World Sports Awards. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canadian snowboarder Max Parrot wins Laureus World Sports Award for comeback

Parrot beat out former Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith

This Nov. 22, 2015 file photo shows Justin Bieber at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles. Bieber’s world tour is facing another setback as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. The Stratford, Ont.-raised pop singer is pushing dozens of tour dates including stops in three Canadian cities.	THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File
Justin Bieber postpones Canadian summer tour dates until 2022

52-date world tour will now kick off Feb. 18, 2022

Most Read