You may have noticed these past couple of weeks I have highlighted some bright stars in the future of men’s tennis. Well, this week in Montreal at the Rogers Cup, another star emerged! 18 year old Canadian, Denis Shapovalov.
He had an incredible week at his home country’s Masters level tournament. He entered as a wildcard, but that didn’t stop him from making a splash. In his second round match, he beat Juan Martin del Potro (former US Open champ), and then in a shocking 3rd round match, he beat Rafa Nadal in three sets. A third set tiebreak sealed the deal for this guy.
I’m sure you’re thinking, “What’s so special about this guy, Frazier?” For me, it’s the way he engages with the crowd and uses them to his advantage. If the spectators are on your side, you have everything. And, he didn’t let the pressure of the big moments get to him. And his slice backhand ain’t bad either! He was really able to rise to the occasion and play great tennis this week.
Of course, only time will tell if this new crop of players will become the new McEnroe/Borg, Sampras/Agassi, Federer/Nadal, or Murray/Djokovic. But the timing is right. We had an unprecedented start of the 2017 tennis season with Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal dominating not only the grand slams, but all the tournaments in between. They’ve both been shaky since Wimbledon. Let’s see if this new crop of guys can rewrite the ending of the 2017 season. Time will tell.