Shapovalov makes history at the U.S. Open

Denis Shapovalov (Wikimedia Commons)

When Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ontario beat Kyle Edmund of Great Britain 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 1-0 in the third round of the U.S. Open on Friday, he made tennis history. At 18 years old, Shapovalov became the youngest man to reach the fourth round of the U.S. Open since 1989 and the first qualifier to reach the fourth round of the U.S. Open since 2008.

In 1989, Michael Chang of the United States reached the fourth round of the U.S. Open at the age of 17 years and six months. Shapovalov is currently 18 years and four months. Interestingly, Chang also made the fourth round of the 1988 U.S. Open as a 16 year-old. In 1989, Chang beat Tim Wilkison of the United States  7-5, 6-3, 6-2 in the first round, Thomas Hogstedt of Sweden 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 in the second round and Pieter Aldrich of South Africa 6-0, 7-6, 6-4 in the third round before losing to Tim Mayotte of the United States 7-5, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3.

Interestingly Hogstedt has two Canadian connections. In the first round of the 1989 U.S. Open, he beat Martin Laurendeau of Montreal 7-6, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3. Ironically, Laurendeau is the current coach for Shapovalov. Hogstedt is also the current coach for 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard of Montreal.

In 2008, qualifier Gilles Muller of Luxembourg reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open after beating Laurent Recouderc of France 6-4, 6-0, 4-6, 6-4 in the first round, Tommy Haas of Germany 6-2, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 6-3 in the second round, 18th seed Nicolas Almagro of Spain 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6, 7-5 in the third round and fifth seed Nikolay Davydenko of Russia 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 in the fourth round before losing to the great Roger Federer of Switzerland 7-6, 6-4, 7-6 in the quarterfinals.

Shapovalov’s win over Edmund in the third round was an upset when it comes to the world rankings. Shapovalov is 69th in the world, compared to Edmund who is 42nd. Edmund had to pull out of the match because of an upper-back injury.

The momentum did not carry forward for Shapovalov on Sunday as he lost to Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain 7-6, 7-6, 7-6 in the fourth round. Shapovalov is the third Canadian tennis player that Carreno Busta has beaten at a major in 2017. In the first round of the Australian Open, he beat Peter Polansky and in the fourth round of the French Open he beat Milos Raonic.

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