Shapovalov Stuns Tsonga In US Open Second Round
Denis Shapovalov’s star continues on its fast-rising trajectory with eighth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga his latest victim at the US Open. The #NextGenATP Canadian qualifier dismissed the Frenchman 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(3) to reach the third round on Wednesday.
After taking down big names Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro en route to the semi-finals on home turf at the Coupe Rogers early this month, Shapovalov transferred his red-hot hard-court form to Flushing Meadows. His victory over Tsonga came on the heels of his first-round defeat of fellow #NextGen ATP player Daniil Medvedev.
It completed a strong day for the #NextGenATP charge, with Borna Coric downing fellow 20 year old, No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev, to join Taylor Fritz and Andrey Rublev as Day 3 winners. Fritz took down Marcos Baghdatis and Rublev saw off Aljaz Bedene, both in straight sets.
“I think every win that I've been going through, it's been securing anyone's doubts or even my own doubts, whether or not I belong,” Shapovalov said. “I belong with these guys, playing these high-level tournaments.
“So this win, it's definitely another confidence boost. It shows that Montreal wasn't a fluke week. To do it back-to-back, it's not easy. I've had to go through qualifying, which is also stacked with super tough players.”
In the last match on Arthur Ashe Stadium on a packed Day 3 schedule, Tsonga struggled to find his range throughout against the free-swinging Canadian. Trailing two sets, he sent a wild smash well long before he sailed a forehand wide to surrender the break for 4-3.
Shapovalov’s first sign of nerves crept in when serving for the match at 5-4 as he quickly fell behind 0-40. Tsonga landed his first break of the match to level at 5-5 but his momentum swing was brief.
The Canadian brought up three match points with a backhand pass drawing the volley error from Tsonga and claimed it when the Frenchman sliced long. He will take on Brit Kyle Edmund for a place in the fourth round.
“I played unbelievable today, very high level,” Shapovalov said. “I don't know why, but I just managed to stay loose and go for my shots the whole match, except a little bit at 5-3 or 5-4, serving for the third set. I got a little bit tight, stopped moving my feet on a couple shots, sailed some forehands.
“He did a good job to break me. He stayed mentally tough there. I mean, I just stayed calm and just waited for my next chance and took it.”