Denis Shapovalov had a major goal at the start of the 2019 ATP Tour season. To capture his first ATP Tour title.
On Sunday at the Stockholm Open, the Canadian has finally achieved this feat. In his first ATP Tour final, Shapovalov defeated Serbian Filip Krajinovic in dominant fashion 6-4, 6-4.
20-year-old Shapovalov had not been to an ATP final prior to Stockholm. He was 0-7 in tournament semifinals, including a straight-set loss to Roger Federer at the Miami Open, 6-2 6-4.
The winless semifinal streak was broken when Shapovalov defeated Yuichi Sugita 7-5 6-2. The rising star had 10 aces and converted on 90 percent of his first-serve points. The momentum from the semifinals carried into the final, where Shapovalov was powerful with his groundstrokes and landing his spots on his serve.
“I feel like I shot up the rankings with a couple of big results but to be honest, my game wasn’t there — I was really flashy, really big tennis, but I was up and down,” said Shapovalov. “So I worked really hard over the last couple of years to strengthen other parts of my game and really try to make it complete and I still feel like there’s a lot of room to grow.”
Denis Shapovalov Continues Stellar Year for Canadian Tennis
With the maiden ATP tournament victory, Shapovalov will now move into the top-30 for the first time since July. He becomes the first player from Canada to secure a tournament win on the ATP Tour since Milos Raonic back in 2016 at Brisbane. Shapovalov is also the 15th first-time winner on the ATP Tour this year.
The banner year for Canadian tennis continues with Shapovalov’s win in Stockholm. The possibilities are now boundless for the youngster on what he can achieve on the ATP Tour.
“I’m happy to be doing so well at the end of this year but hopefully I can keep going so a couple years down the road I can potentially be a Grand Slam contender,” said Shapovalov.
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