Denis Shapovalov stuns Rafael Nadal in Montreal: Canadian teenager becomes youngest Masters 1000 quarter-finalist in history

Andrew Hendrie in ATP 11 Aug 2017
  • Shapovalov shocks Nadal in three-set thriller
  • The 18-year-old becomes youngest ATP Masters quarter-finalist in history
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Montreal at bet365 > sports > live streaming tennis
Denis Shapovalov (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov has claimed one of the upsets of the season at the Coupe Rogers, surging into his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final with a remarkable three-set victory over World No. 2 Rafael Nadal.

Watch and bet on tennis live from Montreal at bet365 > sports > live streaming tennis.



The 18-year-old Shapovalov recovered from a set down and 0-3 in the deciding set tiebreak to conquer 14-time grand slam champion Nadal 3-6 6-4 7-6(4) in front of an electric crowd inside the Uniprix Stadium in Montreal.

Coming into Montreal ranked at 143 in the world, Shapovalov is set to sky-rocket inside the top 100 when the new rankings are released on Monday - and he could rise into the 60s if he can beat Adrian Mannarino in Friday’s quarter-final clash.

Denis Shapovalov of Canada falls to the ground after his victory over Rafael Nadal (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
By beating Nadal, Shapovalov - at 18 years and three months - becomes the youngest player in history to make an ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final. The Next Generation star was down match point in his opening round contest against Rogerio Dutra Silva but recovered to win in three, before taking down former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro in straight sets to set up Thursday night’s date with Nadal.

Shapovalov started strongly and matched Nadal from the baseline during the early exchanges as the match went on serve until 3-3 in the opening set, when the Spanish star lifted his level and began to dictate with his forehand, promptly winning the last three games of the set to put himself halfway into the quarter-finals.

However Shapovalov refused to lie down, effectively utilising his booming lefty forehand and exquisite one-handed backhand to open up a 4-1 lead quickly in the second. The teenager was just centimetres from claiming a double break lead and serving for the set at 5-1, but after a long energy-sapping rally, his attempted backhand pass down the line sailed just wide.

It appeared as if Nadal was back in the set after swiftly breaking and levelling for 4-4, but Shapovalov - playing with composure beyond his teenage years - wasn’t going anywhere, holding and then breaking Nadal for the set to extend the match into a decider, much to the delight of a parochial home crowd.

Some tremendous and gruelling points ensued to launch the third, and perhaps the key moment of the match can be traced back to 1-1, with Shapovalov saving three break points during a 14-minute game to keep his nose in front. Both players were dominant on serve until the tiebreak, and when Nadal created a 3-0 buffer for himself early on, it looked as if the spirited challenge of the 18-year-old was about to end.


Denis Shapovalov celebrates his victory (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
But Shapovalov responded to the initial setback magnificently, reeling off seven of the next eight points and finishing with an outstanding forehand winner on his first match point to seal the best victory of his young career.

Shapovalov enters the history books with the unlikely triumph, becoming the youngest player to beat a top two opponent in a completed match since a 17-year-old Nadal beat Roger Federer at the 2004 Miami Masters in addition to being the youngest Masters 1000 quarter-finalist of all time.

The teenage sensation is also the lowest-ranked quarter-finalist at the Canada Masters since No. 144 Harel Levy in 2000.

Shapovalov has an excellent chance to go even deeper into the draw, facing unseeded Frenchman Adrian Mannarino - who beat his more-fancied compatriot Milos Raonic - on Friday night, while the winner will take on either Alexander Zverev or Kevin Anderson for a spot in the final.

Nadal meanwhile will have to wait until Cincinnati for another chance to reclaim the No. 1 ranking. The Spaniard would have risen to No. 1 by reaching the semi-finals in Montreal.


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Denis Shapovalov stuns Rafael Nadal in Montreal: Canadian teenager becomes youngest Masters 1000 quarter-finalist in history

Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov has claimed one of the upsets of the season at the Coupe Rogers, surging into his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final with a remarkable three-set victory over World No. 2 Rafael Nadal.

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