Despite giving his everything in the first Major quarter-final, Denis Shapovalov fell to Pablo Carreno Busta 3-6, 7-6, 7-6, 0-6, 6-3 after four hours and eight minutes! Denis became the first Canadian player in the US Open quarter-final and had the upper hand against the Spaniard after the fourth set, only to lose steam in the decider.
Denis posted a lovely message on Instagram, thanking his team and fans who supported him over three weeks in New York, saying he gave his everything and praising the organizers for running the event in tough conditions. Denis won eight points more than Pablo, firing 76 winners and errors and leaving Carreno Busta on a 33-42 ratio.
The Canadian grabbed eight breaks from 16 opportunities, getting broken five times from 21 chances given to the Spaniard and finishing his journey in the quarters, mainly thanks to those two tie breaks he lost. Shapovalov had the upper hand in the rallies, adding winners and errors and just coming shorts in the decisive moments of sets two and three.
He had the momentum ahead of the decider but the more experienced player served well, delivering one break that propelled him over the top. The encounter kicked off with two breaks, with Shapovalov dropping three points in the final four service games to control the scoreboard.
The pressure was on Carreno Busta who couldn't endure it, fending off two break chances in game six before Denis grabbed a break at 4-3 after stellar winners from both wings. The youngster closed the set with a hold at 30 for a 6-3, gathering boost ahead of set number two.
It saw four breaks in the first five games, two on each side, with Carreno Busta as the better player in the remaining games, serving well and pushing Shapovalov to the limits. The Canadian had to dig deep at 3-4, repelling four break points to remain on the positive side and defending a set point at 4-5 with a brave attack that kept him in contention.
Denis Shapovalov lost in five sets to Pablo Carreno Busta in New York.
The tie break was a tight one and Pablo grabbed it 7-5 with a single mini-break in the sixth point, landing an ace at 6-5 to level the overall score after an hour and 52 minutes.
The second set lasted for almost 80 minutes, and the third proved to be a lengthy one as well, passing an hour mark to keep the crowd entertained. After four good holds, Carreno Busta moved in front with a break in game five, forging a 4-2 advantage and wasting another break point for a 5-2 lead.
Denis remained in touch and pulled the break back at 3-4, surviving the service game at 5-5 to reach the second tie break. The more experienced player had the upper hand again, rattling off the last four points from 3-4 and painting a forehand down the line winner for two sets to one advantage after precisely three hours.
Shapovalov won all 12 points on serve in the fourth set, raising his level and securing three breaks of serve for a bagel. They stayed neck and neck in the decider's first five games before Shapovalov cracked under pressure, hitting a double fault to push the rival 4-2 in front.
The Spaniard held at 15 to open a 5-2 lead and produced a hold at love in the ninth game to seal the deal and set the semi-final clash against Alexander Zverev. "Well, what can I say? I put my heart into every point these last two weeks and came out a little short; sometimes, it has to be like that.
I want to take a minute to thank my team and everyone close to me for their help and support. We have all been working extremely hard over the past six months, and it showed. I want to thank all of my amazing fans for being there with me on every single point throughout the tournament.
I appreciated all of the love over the past two weeks, and when my body told me no, you all pushed me to keep going and overcome pain and fatigue. Lastly, I would like to thank the US Open for making this tournament possible.
It's been amazing to be back on the court and having the chance to compete again. Like always, the Shapo team will never stop fighting. Thank you guys for being a part of my night train," Denis Shapovalov said.