Watching Denis Shapovalov plays feels like time stands still, I could watch the Canadian for hours on end play his spectacular tennis, his one handed forehand or the backhand in full flow is quite the sight.
To date I would say his biggest standout win was the one in 2017 when he was ranked at 143 in the world and defeated world number two Rafael Nadal at home in Montreal over three sets.
I would say however progress has been steady, he made his first Major quarter final last year at the US Open and for four consecutive years between 2017 & 2020 has been a semi-finalist at a Masters 1000 and was runner up in Bercy in 2019.
Denis only turned 22 recently but I do feel these next couple of years will be vital, he has struggled against players in and around his ranking.
Since the beginning of 2019 the Canadian has won 12 of his 33 matches against players ranked in the top 20 in the world and is 0-5 against top 20 opponents this year.
Defeat in Rome will hurt, it was tremendous fight back from Nadal who trailed a set and a break, a break in the third set and down two match points and won! Denis has to move on quite quickly from the match and go for it in Paris where it hasn’t happened for him yet.
Denis has had good runs at events, it’s been unpredictable, the consistency isn’t there in his game and it shows in his career win/loss record in singles which stands at 115-97 leaving Rome.
Since the beginning of 2019 he has played 47 tournaments but won 66 matches averaging 1.4 wins per tournament played which isn’t anywhere near consistent enough for his ranking.
I don’t think the disruption to life and the tour has helped over the last twelve months and a good run is something we haven’t seen for some time.
His tennis is wonderful to watch, he played some simply magnificent tennis in Rome and should have won but he came away with a defeat.
I love what this guy can do, his potentials unreal but it feels more frustrating lately and here are some pieces I have written before:
AO 2020 vs Marton Fucsovics
Shanghai 2019 vs Djokovic
US Open 2019 vs Felix
The analysis above I put together, the weapons he has can open up the court perfectly, it is a dream to watch him in this mood, because he can use either hand on the when he’s fire on all cylinders it leaves you stuck and questioning where to go next?
This is something I have from Montreal 2017, Nadal is usually deep in the court but against an unknown at the time in Denis he couldn’t commit to either side. The backhand can go down the line or cross court and the forehand can go out-wide or inside in.