Revitalizing Denis Shapovalov: Javier Piles Joins the Redemption Journey

Denis Shapovalov is 0-2 in 2024, seeking improvements with the new coach

by Jovica Ilic
Revitalizing Denis Shapovalov: Javier Piles Joins the Redemption Journey
© Phil Walter / Staff - Getty Images Sport

After spending the off-season with Javier Piles, former world no. 10 Denis Shapovalov announced an experienced coach as the addition to his coaching staff. Shapovalov started the season with Matt Daly but will work with Piles from Montpellier.

Piles coached David Ferrer for years, leading his compatriot into the top-3 and toward a Major final before they parted ways at the end of 2013. Piles will embrace a new challenge, trying to guide Shapovalov back to the top following a challenging period for the Canadian.

Denis left the top-10 group in August 2021, finishing runner-up in four ATP finals in 2021 and 2022. The Canadian has not been able to play his best tennis in the previous couple of years, and he had to slow down after last year's Wimbledon and rest his body.

Denis Shapovalov, Australian Open 2024 © Phil Walter / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Denis had a mediocre run in the opening half of 2023, earning 13 wins by Wimbledon and struggling with a knee injury. Denis decided to end his season and take care of his body, hoping for a fresh start in 2024.

Former world no. 10 will seek his first win of the season under a new coach in Montpellier following early exits in Adelaide and the Australian Open. Shapovalov played his first match in almost half a year at the beginning of the season in Adelaide, falling to Sebastian Ofner 6-4, 6-2 in 68 minutes.

Denis showed his old weakness, hitting 11 double faults, often in the pivotal moments. Shapovalov served at 49%, further downgrading his chances against a solid rival who made a promising start to the season.

Denis Shapovalov will work with Javier Piles from Montpellier.

The Austrian saved two break points and clinched all three break chances, ending the Canadian's resistance in the second set.

Ofner tamed his strokes nicely and outplayed Shapovalov in the shortest exchanges up to four strokes. Hoping for a better run at the Australian Open, the former quarter-finalist experienced the first-round loss to Jakub Mensik, falling 6-3, 7-5, 7-5 in three hours and 19 minutes.

Still seeking his A-game after an extended break, Denis sprayed 50 unforced errors and lost ground in pivotal moments, like against Ofner. Shapovalov squandered all nine break points and dropped serve once in each set to hit the exit door.

Denis Shapovalov, Australian Open 2024© Phil Walter / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Denis lost serve in the eighth game of the opening set, allowing Jakub to wrap it up with a service winner at 5-3. The second set saw a tight battle until 5-5.

The Canadian squandered a game point in game 11 and lost serve after the Czech's deep return. Mensik held at love in game 12, forging two sets to love advantage. Jakub denied three break points in the third set's second game, and they served well in the next eight to lock the result at 5-5.

Like in the second set, Jakub secured a break in game 11 after Denis' loose volley, moving 6-5 in front and serving for the win. A qualifier stayed calm and landed a booming serve for a hold at love in game 12, winning 12 of the final 13 points for his first Australian Open victory. Shapovalov will seek his first win of 2024 in Montpellier against Hugo Gaston.

Denis Shapovalov