At 21 years and five months, Denis Shapovalov became the tenth-youngest active top-10 player and the first to achieve that from the 1999 generation. The Tel Aviv native collected 720 points at the US Open in Rome, reaching the quarter-final and semi-final, respectively, and doing enough to beat the closest rival and become the second Canadian in the elite group after Milos Raonic.
Shapovalov didn't make a good start of the new season, winning modest 250 points at the ATP Cup, Auckland, the Australian Open, Montpellier, Rotterdam and Marseille, working hard during the coronavirus outbreak and finding his best tennis in the last couple of weeks.
Keeping the points won since March 2019, including the final in Paris, semi-final in Miami and the first ATP title in Stockholm, Shapovalov added more fuel to his ranking tank recently. He beat Roberto Bautista Agut by 200 points on the lastest ATP ranking list to achieve a significant ranking milestone and find himself in the elite ten at such a young age.
Heading to the US Open with only five victories under his belt in 2020, Denis defeated other youngsters Sebastian Korda, Soonwoo Kwon and Taylor Fritz to advance into the fourth round, coming from a set down to oust David Goffin and move into the last eight.
There, the Canadian gave his everything against Pablo Carreno Busta, playing in the first Major quarter-final and pushing the Spaniard to the limits before falling in five sets after four hours and eight minutes. Denis won the fourth set with a bagel, gathering momentum ahead of the decider, where he lost 6-3 and missed a chance for an even better result.
With no time for thinking about that tight defeat, Shapovalov headed to Europe, entering Rome on the slowest surface and scoring impressive wins over Guido Pella and Pedro Martinez to enter the last 16.
Denis Shapovalov is the first player born in 1999 to crack the top-10.
There, Denis played on a high level in sets two and three against Ugo Humbert, advancing into the quarters where he toppled Grigor Dimitrov in three sets to remain perfect in the Masters 1000 quarter-finals, winning five from five.
In the battle for the final, Denis lost a thrilling encounter to Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 in three hours and 15 minutes, by far the tournament's longest match. The Argentine claimed the opener with a break in game ten, with Shapovalov opening a 5-3 advantage in set number two.
Diego claimed back to 5-5, losing the next couple of games to hand the set to the Canadian. Shapovalov earned a double break in the decider to forge a 4-2 lead, serving for the victory at 5-4 but failing to make an extra step.
Schwartzman broke back and won the tie break to reach the first Masters 1000 final, ending Shapovalov's run in the semis.