Denis Shapovalov started 2021 Wimbledon with a five set match against Philipp Kohlschreiber. The Canadian took the first set after breaking the German. Kohlschreiber took the second, Shapovalov took the third. The German broke in the fourth to level up and head into a one set shoot out. The 22-year-old made the break to take the match.
Shapovalov should have played Pablo Andújar in the second round. However, the Spaniard withdrew to hand the Canadian a walkover into the third round. The 10th seed played Andy Murray on centre court. Murray had previously had a tough four-set and five-set match to reach this far.
Denis Shapovalov can go deep at Wimbledon
Murray had not played singles at Wimbledon since 2017 and had announced retirement in 2019. Making a slow comeback following on from hip resurfacing, the Brit had only played 12 matches prior to Wimbledon. The match up on centre court was the junior Wimbledon 2016 champion against the 2016 men’s champion.
After defeating the Brit in straight sets, Murray’s fewest games won at Wimbledon in his entire career, the Canadian spoke to the press. The 10th seed said in his on court interview “I told Andy at the net that he is my hero. Achievements aside, what he has been able to do in this sport, with an injury like this, to play this tennis, move the way he does; I said in the second match it was like watching vintage Andy.”
Into the second week
With the Canadian now into the second week at Wimbledon, the seed has shown the power of his game. Shapovalov plays eighth seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the fourth round. The 22-year-old looks a good prospect. No Canadian has won Wimbledon in the open era. The closest was Milos Raonic in 2016 when Murray won his second title at the All England Club.
Bianca Andreescu is the only Canadian to have won a Grand Slam recently, winning the US Open in 2019. Shapovalov won the boys title in 2016, defeating Australian Alex de Minaur in three sets. His lowest moment came in 2017. Facing Briton Kyle Edmund in the Davis Cup tie the youngster struck a ball in anger, hitting chair umpire Arnaud Gabas in the face. Shapovalov was defaulted, handing the match to Edmund.
The 22-year-old has learnt from that experience, growing in maturity to reach number 12 in the world. Seeded at Wimbledon in 2018 the Canadian lost in the second round. The following year Shapovalov lost in the first round. The youngster is learning how to play well on grass.
Shapovalov made the quarterfinals of the 2020 US Open. The Canadian will be looking to go further in London. Playing the shots and power used to reach the fourth round so far, Shapovalov cannot be discounted to reach the latter stages of the Championships.
Main Photo from Getty.