Thu, 26 May 2022

Denis Shapovalov upsets Alexander Zverev at Australian Open

Field Level Media
24 Jan 2022, 02:19 GMT+10

Canadian Denis Shapovalov ousted No. 3 seed Alexander Zverev on Sunday to set up a quarterfinal showdown with Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

The 14th-seeded Shapovalov stormed to a 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3 defeat of Germany's Zverev, just his second career win against a player ranked in the Top 5.

Shapovalov struck 35 winners, nearly twice as many as Zverev (18), and won 81 percent (22 of 27) of his points at the net.

"I'm very happy with my performance, definitely happy with where my game is at," Shapovalov said in his on-court interview. "I think off the ground I was playing really well, really feeling my shots off both wings. I played pretty smart today, it felt like things were going my way early on. I lost a little bit of momentum mid-way in the second set but fought well to come back and just kind of rolled with it after."

The upcoming clash with the sixth-seeded Nadal will be the third Grand Slam quarterfinal for Shapovalov, 22, who reached the semifinals at Wimbledon last year and lost in the quarters at the 2020 U.S. Open.

"It's always an honor to go up against a guy like Rafa," Shapovalov said of the 35-year-old Spanish star. "It's always going to be a battle against him. It's going to be a tough one and I'm definitely going to enjoy it."

Nadal, who is 3-1 head-to-head against Shapovalov, endured an epic tiebreak in his fourth-round victory over unseeded Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.

Nadal finally closed out the opening set on his seventh set point, moving on to the final eight with a 7-6 (14), 6-2, 6-2 win against Mannarino. He saved four set points in the 30-minute tiebreak and then took control, losing serve only once in the last two sets.

"Everybody knows how mentally (tough) this game is," said Nadal, who finished with 16 aces, 42 winners and just 22 unforced errors.

"It was a tough one and after that crazy first set, I think it was so important (to get) the break at the beginning of the second set."

Another quarterfinal match will pit No. 7 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy against No. 17 Gael Monfils of France.

Berrettini hammered 28 aces and saved the only break point he faced in a 7-5, 7-6 (4), 6-4 win against No. 19 Pablo Carreno-Busta of Spain. Monfils delivered 17 aces and saved five of six break points in a 7-5, 7-6 (4), 6-3 defeat of unseeded Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic.

--Field Level Media

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