Denis Shapovalov bluntly responds to ex-coach Mikhail Youzhny's shade

In late December, Youzhny took a dig at Shapovalov, with whom he worked for over two years.

by Dzevad Mesic
Denis Shapovalov bluntly responds to ex-coach Mikhail Youzhny's shade
© Getty Images Sport - Shaun Botterill

Denis Shapovalov admitted he was blindsided by Mikhail Youzhny's comments about him and added stuff like that tells more about his former coach than it does about him. 

After adding Youzhny to his coaching staff in 2019 August, the Canadian ended up working with the former Russian tennis star until the end of the 2021 season. Together, Shapovalov and Youzhny were able to do some notable things together as the Canadian reached his first Grand Slam semifinal and a career-high ranking of No. 10 during that period. After their split, Youzhny briefly rejoined Shapovalov's team in 2022 August. 

Although Youhny was able to achieve some notable results with Shapovalov, his recent comments indicate that he felt that the 24-year-old could have done a lot more. In an interview with Tennis Majors from late December, Youzhny suggested that Shapovalov wasn't doing to the fullest what he needed to be doing and that he wasn't putting tennis as his priority all the time.

Shapovalov slams Youzhny's 'unexpected' comments 

"It's definitely unexpected. I mean, I don't really want to get into it and talk about it, but I think him giving an interview and exposing, or not even exposing it's obviously his side of the story. It kind of says more about him than it does about me and I'm just going to leave it at that," Shapovalov said on TSN when asked about Youzhny's shade.

Denis Shapovalov
Denis Shapovalov© Getty Images Sport - Shaun Botterill

Also, Shapovalov added that he does not want to "waste" his time talking about others as he prefers to keep focused on himself and his career. 

Meanwhile, Shapovalov made his return to tennis last week and also kicked off his 2024 season in Auckland. After not playing any tournaments since Wimbledon due to a knee injury, Shapovalov' was able to start the new season in the first week of the year.

In his first tournament back, Shapovalov suffered an Auckland first-round loss as Sebastian Ofner took out the former world No. 10 with a 6-4 6-2 loss.

Denis Shapovalov
Denis Shapovalov© Getty Images Sport - Phil Walter

Now, Shapovalov is set for the Australian Open, where he is starting against a qualifier. In 2022, Shapovalov was a quarterfinalist at Melbourne Park.

Denis Shapovalov Mikhail Youzhny