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Shapovalov: 2024 edition

by Paul Rivard

March 27, 2024

Denis Shapovalov’s win in Miami on Mar. 23 was a joy to behold! Even though Matteo Arnaldi got the better of him in the third round (6-3, 7-6[7]), his convincing win over Stefanos Tsitsipas should have us all feeling pretty great.

Why? First and foremost, the lefty played like the Shapo who fought his way into the Top 10 three years ago. And because he outdid a member of the Top 15 for the first time since October 2022 (Taylor Fritz, Vienna). And, last but not least, he toppled the titan for the fourth time in six attempts.

I’ve seen a lot of positives from Denis since the start of the season, especially when he got his superlative backhand working like the weapon we know it is.

Photo: Mega/Wenn

I can also appreciate the fact that he’s competing with a wholly different attitude. Since rehabbing his knee, he’s found a lot more composure and kept a lid on his feelings.

A brand-new man.

Read also: Upsets Take Centre Stage in Miami

Against Tsitsipas, the Canadian relied on his calm and control early in the second set, in an 18-minute game that saw eight break points! Tsitsipas may have held serve, but I liked Shapo’s willpower. He even flashed a smiled at his team after being edged out of a break point.

Photo: USA Today

I saw signs of frustration only once: on Mar. 24, when he missed an opportunity to get back in the match against Arnaldi (and was probably starting to see that quarter-final berth as more and more within reach).

Shapovalov currently sits at No. 126. Will he find his way back into the Top 100 this season?

We certainly hope so.

Who?

Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

Who will be tennis’ next overnight sensation? You know, the qualifier only the most die-hard fans have heard of who does the unthinkable and ejects a top seed.

Top of mind is No. 123 Luca Nardi of Italy. In Indian Wells, he upset World No. 1 and 24-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic (6-4, 3-6, 6-3) in what some believe is the greatest upset in tennis history.

Whoa, whoa, whoa!


Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

Despite Nardi himself dubbing his triumph a miracle, unlikely outcomes aren’t that uncommon. Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer have all fallen in (sometimes absolutely stupefying) first-round bouts of major tournaments. But instead of going through the annals, let’s look at the difference in rankings between Nardi and Nole.

Source: ATP

In the 21st century, Nardi comes in fourth at the Masters 1000 with a 122-spot gap between him and the reigning No.1.

There have been even more unexpected wins, including one by our very own Vasek Pospisil. At IW 2017, he ousted then World No. 1 Andy Murray (6-4, 7-6(4)) in the second round.

And the Next Gen isn’t immune. In 2023, then No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz was outmanoeuvred in Rome by then No. 135 Fabian Maroszan of Hungary (6-3, 7-6(4)).

Read also: James Blake Discusses Running the Miami Open

Maroszan seems to have acquired a taste for upsets. Fast-forward to Shanghai, where he removed then No. 11 Alex de Minaur and No. 9 Casper Ruud, and then to last weekend in Miami, where it took him only 60 minutes to humiliate No. 7 Holger Rune (6-1, 6-1).

Tittle eclipse

Photo: Dominick Gravel/La Presse


This incredible photo was taken on Feb. 3 during the Davis Cup showdown between the Republic of Korea and our Canadians in Montréal.

Photographer Dominick Gravel of La Presse newspaper captured the exact moment Hong Seongchan’s shot perfectly lined up with the dot over the i in Davis.

A tittle eclipse.  

The ATP's best return to Montreal this summer for the National Bank Open August 3 to 12, 2024 at IGA Stadium. 2024 Tickets are on sale. Get your tickets today!

Feature Photo : Mike Lawrence/ATP