World no. 14 Denis Shapovalov is the highest-ranked player who will not compete at this year's Roland Garros, withdrawing from the second Major with shoulder issues. Thus, the Canadian joined Stan Wawrinka, Borna Coric and Nick Kyrgios as the most notable players who won't travel to Paris, hoping to return at Roland Garros in 2022.
In the past three years, Denis won two matches in Paris, taking down Gilles Simon last October before falling to Roberto Carballes Baena after an epic battle that lasted for five hours. Denis has won 14 matches so far in 2021, reaching the semi-final in Dubai and competed for the Geneva Open title last Saturday.
Despite the pain, Denis defeated Marco Cecchinato, Laslo Djere and Pablo Cuevas to advance into the third ATP title match and the first since 2019. Despite giving his best, Denis lost to Casper Ruud 7-6, 6-4 in an hour and 41 minutes.
Shapovalov stood two points away from taking the opening set in the tie break and suffered one break in the second to propel the opponent over the finish line and claim the runner-up prize. The returners had no chances in the opening set before the tie break, taking 11 points and failing to reach at least one deuce.
Both players opted for aggressive tennis, attacking right after the serve. The Norwegian held at love at 4-4, and repeated that at 5-5 to keep the pressure on the other side of the net. Denis stayed composed and reached a tie break, only to fall 6-2 behind after Casper's smash winner.
Denis Shapovalov withdrew from the upcoming Roland Garros due to a shoulder injury.
The Canadian saved all four set points before netting an easy volley in the 14th point to hand the set to Ruud. With momentum on his side, Casper produced five comfortable holds in set number two and converted the fifth break chance at 2-2 when Shapovalov netted a volley.
Ruud held at love in the next two service games and sealed the deal with a service winner at 5-4 to celebrate the second ATP title. Shapovalov should return to the court in Stuttgart on grass right after Roland Garros, also signing to play at Queen's ahead of Wimbledon.
A few weeks ago in Rome, Shapovalov had a massive chance to beat the king of clay Rafael Nadal in the third round, wasting a massive advantage in the second set and two match points at 6-5 in the deciding set. "I am saddened to share that after consulting with my medical team, I have decided to withdraw from Roland Garros.
Unfortunately, my shoulder has been bothering me over the last few weeks, and while all medical tests look good, it is for the best to play it safe and rest. See you in 2022, Roland-Garros," Denis Shapovalov said.