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Denis Shapovalov Enjoying His Asian Swing

Denis Shapovalov in action at the ATP Tokyo Open.

Denis Shapovalov is having a very successful Asian swing so far. The Canadian, seeded seventh in Tokyo, is hoping to make back-to-back finals. Having made another early exit at the US Open where he lost in the third round, Shapovalov looking to find some form, and perhaps win his first ATP title since 2019. He started in Seoul, where he took on Jaume Munar in the last 16 after a first-round by, breaking the Spaniard late in the first set before winning the second more comfortably to move into the next round.

The quarterfinals proved easier still to navigate for Shapovalov, with Radu Albot no match for the Canadian as he lost just four games in a dominant display. Albot was doubtless disappointed with his efforts, but Shapovalov looked to be building his confidence. He would need it in the semifinals where he came up against the eighth seed Jenson Brooksby.

Brooksby, who has had a below-par season himself, made Shapovalov work hard for every point, playing some fine counter-punching tennis. Ultimately, however, he could not live with Shapovalov’s power, with a break of serve in each set was enough for Shapovalov to make his first final of the season.

Unfortunately for the Canadian, he came unstuck against the unseeded Yoshihito Nishioka. The Japanese took the game to Shapovalov throughout, with Nishioka managing to break Shapovalov in the set before denying him in a second-set tiebreak. It was a bitterly disappointing defeat for the 23-year-old who had looked on course for his second ATP title. But he has not let his disappointment get the better of him.

Following on from his efforts in Korea, the Canadian travelled over to Japan for the ATP-500 event in Tokyo. Shapovalov has made great progress so far with straight-set wins against unseeded opponents in Steve Johnson and home hope Rio Noguchi enough to earn him a place in the quarterfinals. The 23-year-old will now face ninth seed Borna Coric next.

Shapovalov is in great form and will surely back his ability to beat Coric and at least make the semifinal here (though the Croatian is in good form himself). If the Canadian can go all the way and win, it will be his first ATP 500 title and his second ATP tour title overall. A title would also boost Canadian men’s tennis as there hasn’t been much to shout about lately. Felix Auger-Aliassime has claimed an ATP 500 title this year in Rotterdam, defeating some top names along the way, to snap his long losing streak in tour-level finals. However, he has rather lost his way of late.

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