Shapovalov Clinches Milan Berth With Opening Basel Victory
Denis Shapovalov continued his rise by qualifying for the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals, guaranteeing his spot with a hard-fought 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(3) victory over Yuichi Sugita in two hours on Monday at the Swiss Indoors Basel.
“Just kept at it,” Shapovalov said. “It’s great to get a win back under my belt. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, so I’m very happy I was able to turn around the match and fight my way through it.”
The Canadian left-hander became the fourth player to qualify for the year-end event in Milan from 7-11 November, something he could not have imagined at the beginning of the year.
“I’m very excited," Shapovalov said. "I heard about the event at the start of the year. I thought there was probably no chance that I was going to make it this year. But with a couple of good results in the summer I put myself in a good position. The last couple weeks I’ve been trying to see how I can qualify and who I need to lose so that I could qualify but I guess with my win today I did that so I’m very, very proud of myself and hopefully I can play really well there.”
Although Shapovalov let slip a 4-1 lead in the third set, the 18 year old managed to right his ship and take out his tough Japanese opponent.
And while Shapovalov qualified for Milan, another player significantly boosted his chances in the Emirates ATP Race To Milan. Hyeon Chung played a strong match to oust ATP World Tour veteran Paolo Lorenzi, 6-3, 6-1 in one hour, 36 minutes.
The South Korean moved into seventh in the Race, the final qualifying spot, with 805 points, passing Daniil Medvedev, who has 772 points.
"The standing ovation from the people was just amazing," Chiudinelli said. "Grateful to have played at home in front of such a crowd...amazing feeling."
Chiudinelli finishes his career with 52 tour-level wins and 185 victories on the ATP Challenger Tour, where he claimed three titles (2004 Donetsk, 2009 Tenerife, 2016 Wroclaw).
The 36-year-old’s best tour-level result came in Basel eight years ago, when he advanced to the semi-finals before falling to good friend Roger Federer, who was in the crowd on Monday to watch what became Chiudinelli’s final match.
Speaking of Federer, the top seed will begin his campaign for an eighth Basel title on Tuesday evening when he plays American Frances Tiafoe, who is battling to stay alive in the Emirates ATP Race To Milan.
Upsets Abound In Basel Doubles
There were two major doubles upsets in Switzerland Monday, with qualifiers Marcus Daniell and Dominic Inglot eliminating top seeds Henri Kontinen and John Peers, 7-6(5), 6-3. Nicholas Monroe and Jack Sock ousted second seeds Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram, 3-6, 6-3, 10-7, which for the moment pushed the South African-American duo out of the cut for the Nitto ATP Finals.
Klaasen and Ram were in the eighth spot in the Emirates ATP Race To London, but their loss combined with second seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcel Granollers beating Ryan Harrison and Steve Johnson, 7-6(5), 6-2, sends the Croatian-Spanish pair from ninth into seventh, nudging Klaasen and Ram back a spot to ninth.