Youngsters Alexander Zverev and Denis Shapovalov battle in Montreal. Who wins?

Alexander Zverev and Denis Shapovalov played for a place in the 2017 Canada Masters final

by Jovica Ilic
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Youngsters Alexander Zverev and Denis Shapovalov battle in Montreal. Who wins?

Alexander Zverev had a breakthrough season in 2017, turning 20 and becoming one of the world's best players. The German enjoyed a great run in Montreal in August, reaching the semi-final and scoring his 45th win of the season versus another youngster Denis Shapovalov.

Alexander beat the home star 6-4, 7-5 in an hour and 43 minutes, advancing into the title clash versus Roger Federer. Zverev book a place in his sixth ATP final of the season, seeking his second consecutive title after claiming Washington a week earlier.

With those points, Zverev became the third-best player in the ATP Race behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Also, the German became only the eighth U20 player with two Masters 1000 finals within a season (the first in ten years), seeking his second consecutive title after Rome in May.

It was the youngest Masters 1000 semi-final since 2005, and an 18-year-old Shapovalov gave his best in front of the home crowd. Still, he made too many errors, especially from his forehand, ending his great run in the last four.

Alexander had the upper hand in the decisive points. He fended off six out of seven break chances (14 out of 15 in the previous two matches) and stole Denis' serve three times for another notable victory.

Alexander Zverev reached the 2017 Canada Masters final over Denis Shapovalov.

The German had 12 winners and 27 unforced errors.

In comparison, the Canadian counted 17 winners and 43 mistakes, not enough to take at least a set. Alexander was 48-38 up in the shortest range up to four strokes. He also prevailed in the most extended rallies to seal the deal in straight sets.

It was a good start for both youngsters, with seven comfortable holds in the first eight games and issues for Shapovalov at 2-2. Alexander grabbed a break at 4-4 following his rival's double fault and held easily in the next one to bring the opener home and gain a boost.

The Canadian hit another double fault at the start of the second set before pulling the break back in the next one to level the score at 1-1. Zverev played against three break chances in the eighth game and fired four service winners in the following five points to get out of jail and level the score at 4-4.

Denis sealed his fate with back-to-back double faults in the 11th game, suffering another break and allowing Alexander to serve for the win. That game was the longest of the encounter, with three break chances for Shapovalov and three match points for Zverev.

Denis missed an open forehand on his second break point and never got another opportunity. Zverev fended off the last break chance with a service winner and sealed the deal when Shapovalov missed a backhand to add another notable final to his tally.

Alexander Zverev Denis Shapovalov
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