Denis Shapovalov reaches semifinals of Dubai

Denis Shapovalov (Wikimedia Commons)

Denis Shapovalov is in the semifinals of the 2021 Dubai Tennis Championship. On Thursday, he won his quarterfinal match by defeating France’s Jeremy Chardy, 7-5, 6-4.

A major reason for Shapovalov’s straight-set win came down to the serve. Shapovalov had 10 aces, while Chardy had none. Shapovalov also won 93% of his first-serve points, and 89% of his second-serve points.

Shapovalov, who is seeded third, was also able to break Chardy in each set. He also won 17 more total points than Chardy in the match, as Shapovalov won 65 points, while Chardy won 48.

In the semifinals, Shapovalov is up against South Africa’s Lloyd Harris. In the first round of the tournament on Tuesday, Harris delivered a huge upset as he beat the reigning United States Open champion and the Dubai Tennis Championship’s number one seed, Dominic Thiem of Austria, 6-3, 6-4. Harris also beat former U.S. Open finalist Kei Nishikori of Japan, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in the quarterfinals on Thursday. This will be the first-ever meeting between Harris and Shapovalov.

The other semi-final in Dubai is an all-Russian battle. The second seed Andrey Rublev is up against Aslan Karatsev. At the Australian Open, Karatsev had a magical run as he went all the way to the semifinals as an unseeded player. Along the way, he beat eighth-ranked Diego Schwartzman of Argentina, 18th-ranked Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, and 20th-ranked Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal.

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