Denis Shapovalov Inspired By Girlfriend As He Surges Into Historic US Open Quarter-Final - UBITENNIS
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Denis Shapovalov Inspired By Girlfriend As He Surges Into Historic US Open Quarter-Final

The Next Gen star says he has become ‘a better player’ since getting into a relationship.

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Denis Shapovalov (image via US Open Twitter)

World No.17 Denis Shapovalov is breaking new ground at the US Open and he believes his breakthrough has been achieved with the help of partner Mirjam Bjorklund.

 

The 12th seed battled back from a set down to edge out Belgium’s David Goffin 6-7(0), 6-3, 6-4, 6-3, on Sunday evening in New York to become the first Canadian man in history to reach the quarter-finals of the US Open. Against Goffin, Shapovalov dropped serve only once as he fired 13 aces and 52 winners en route to victory. A milestone achievement for the 21-year-old who had never progressed beyond the fourth round of a major until this tournament.

“It’s definitely super exciting to be in my first quarter-finals of a Grand Slam. Obviously I had the run I think it was three, four years ago making the fourth round. To kind of get over that hump, make my first quarters, it’s a huge boost for me to see that my hard work’s paying off,” said Shapovalov.
“I knew it was going to be a battle out there, a lot of long rallies. I tried to match his steadiness while still trying to play my game and be aggressive when I had the opportunity. I feel like all four sets I executed that really well.” He added.

Following his latest victory, Shapovalov praised one particular person who he believes has helped him become a better player – his girlfriend Bjorklund. A Swedish professional player who broke into the top 300 last year for the first time and has won six ITF titles so far in her career.

“I just think as soon as we started dating, it’s kind of a reason for someone to want to man up. I felt like she’s definitely inspired me to become a better person, a better tennis player,” he explained.
“I don’t mean to take anything away from my parents or my team, as well. I feel like everybody’s inspiring me. They’re staying up at night watching my matches. Everybody is supporting me.’
“Throughout the start of my life my parents have just been there always for me. I think it’s everybody.’
“But, of course, she inspires me as well.”

Shapovalov was on course to play Novak Djokovic in the next round before the world No.1 was disqualified from his match after accidentally hitting a ball at a lines woman. The incident means that there will be a brand new Grand Slam champion in the tournament. Out of those remaining in the draw, only Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem have previously contested a major final.

Instead of Djokovic, the Canadian will lock horns with Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta. A former semi-finalist in New York who he has a losing 1-3 head-to-head record against. The two clashed three times last year with Shapovalov losing both of their meetings on a hardcourt in straight sets.

It’s definitely going to be an extremely tough, tough challenge,” Shapovalov previewed.
“Obviously he’s kind of like David (Goffin): very solid, very stable from the back. It’s going to be a similar matchup for me.”
“I have to play my game but remain steady as possible.”

Shapovalov is also through to the quarter-finals of the doubles competition alongside India’s Rohan Bopanna.

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Unseeded Ugo Humbert Becomes First Player In Over A Decade To Win Halle On Debut

The 22-year-old fired nine aces and 29 winners to claim his first ATP 500 title.

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image via https://twitter.com/ATPHalle

France’s Ugo Humbert has clinched his maiden ATP title on the grass after defeating Andrey Rublev in straight sets at the Noventi Open in Halle.

 

Humbert remained unbroken throughout his 6-3, 7-6(4), win over the Russian fourth seed who has won more matches on the ATP Tour than any other player since the start of 2020 (74). The Frenchman was particularly impressive behind serve where he won 83% of his first service points and 55% on his second. It is the first time he has beaten Rublev on the Tour after losing to him on two previous occasions in 2019 (Monte Carlo) and 2020 (St. Petersburg).

“It’s incredible,” said Humbert. “The best victory of my career. I’m very proud because it wasn’t easy, I was a little but tired today but I tried to stay focused on each point. It’s very nice.”

The triumph concludes what has been a marathon week in Halle for the 22-year-old. En route to the final he had to come through four three-set matches where he scored wins over Sam Querrey, Alexander Zverev, Sebastian Korda and Felix-Auger Aliassime. Becoming only the second player in Halle’s 28-year history to have reached the final by playing only three-set matches.

Meanwhile, runner-up Rublev paid tribute to his opponent following their clash. The world No.7 is now 1-2 in finals played so far this season after winning Rotterdam before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas in Monte Carlo. To put that into perspective, in 2020 he won all six finals he played in.

“I have often told my coach that you play in an incredible way,” he said. “You have everything to be a very great player. So keep working, doing everything you do. You play very well, you have incredible shots. I wish you a great career.”

Humbert, who won two ATP titles last year in Auckland and Antwerp, is the first player to win Halle on the debut since 2010. On that occasion Lleyton Hewitt prevailed over Roger Federer in the final. He is now projected to rise to a ranking high of 25 on Monday when the ATP standings are officially updated.

The Frenchman will be hoping that he can continue his winning streak heading to Wimbledon where he reached the fourth round back in 2019. His best ever result in a Grand Slam to date.

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David Goffin Out Of Wimbledon Following Halle Accident

It has been reported that the unfortunate injury he suffered is ‘more serious’ than a sprain.

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David Goffin has been forced to withdraw from Wimbledon after suffering an ankle injury during the Noventi Open earlier this week.

 

The former top 10 player was taking on Corentin Moutet in Halle where he slipped on the grass and subsequently hurt his right ankle. Forcing the Belgian to retire from the match at the start of the third set. Providing an update on Goffin’s health, agent Martin Roux said he is unsure how long he will be absent from the Tour for.

“Yes, David has officially withdrawn from Wimbledon following his ankle injury in Halle. For the moment we do not know more about the exact duration of unavailability, ” Roux told lesoir.be. “He is of course disappointed to miss a Grand Slam tournament, especially since he had recovered well on grass before his injury. “

Elaborating further, Roux confirmed Goffin’s injury is ‘more serious’ than a sprain and tests are ongoing to assess the extent of the damage which has been caused to the ankle. It is not the first time he has suffered a freak accident on the court. During the 2018 Rotterdam Open he hurt his eye after a tennis ball rebounded into his face, forcing him to pull out of Marseille and Indian Wells that year.

“David told me that it was more serious than a minor sprain, after exams in Belgium.”Roux added. “The ankle has not yet deflated (stopped swelling). David realizes that ice and bandages won’t be enough to play. The ligaments must be affected in one way or another. The idea is to do new exams at the end of the week in order to then have a healing protocol, especially since after Wimbledon the Olympic Games will arrive quickly. These are now his next goals. “

The 30-year-old has achieved a win-loss record of 14-13 so far in 2021 and won his fifth ATP title in Montpellier. He has also reached the semi-finals in Antalya and quarter-finals in Monte Carlo. However, recently Goffin has struggled on the Tour with Halle being the fifth tournament in a row where he has failed to win back-to-back matches.

Goffin is currently ranked 13th in the world.

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Dominic Thiem Follows Nadal In Olympic Games Snub

The world No.5 says his decision is related to his performance on the Tour so far this season.

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Dominic Thiem training at the 2021 Lyon Open (photographer Sammy Dancyger - Owned by Sport Plus Conseil - GM Sports Consulting)

Austria’s Dominic Thiem has pulled out of the Olympic Games in order to focus on his title defence at the US Open later this year.

 

The 27-year-old issued a statement on Thursday saying he was ‘not ready’ to play in Tokyo following what has been a roller-coaster start to the season. Thiem enters Wimbledon with a win-loss record of 9-8 and recently lost in the first round of the French Open. His best results so far this year were reaching the last 16 of the Australian Open and the semi-finals of the Madrid Open.

“Hi everybody, I have some sad news to share with you all. After talking with my team and analysing the situation I have taken the very difficult decision to withdraw from competing in the Tokyo Olympics,” the 27-year-old Austrian wrote on Twitter.
“For me, like all athletes, taking part in the Olympics and representing my country is a huge honour and that makes this decision even tougher.
“However, 2021 did not start as expected and I don’t feel ready to play my best in Tokyo.
“My goal is to work hard the coming weeks, give my best at Wimbledon and keep training and hopefully defend my US Open title.”

Thiem, who also skipped the 2016 Olympics, had previously said that his views on the multi-sport event have changed over recent time. During one interview with Tennis Deutschland he said it would be a ‘dream’ to play at the Olympics and he would ‘definitely play’ at the event if he had the chance to. Thiem is coached on the Tour by Nicolas Massu who won a gold medal back in 2004.

The world No.5 says he hopes to be able to play at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris where the tennis tournament will be held at Roland Garros. The same venue as the French Open.

On the same day as Thiem’s announcement on Thursday, Rafael Nadal was another player to confirm he would not be travelling to Tokyo, as well as Wimbledon, in order to recover from the clay season. The Spaniard said he wants to take a break from the Tour in order to preserve his body and prolong his career on the Tour.

The Olympic tennis event will take place between July 24th – August 1st. Andy Murray is the defending champion in the men’s tournament.

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