Denis Shapovalov is improving but it is still too little


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Denis Shapovalov is improving but it is still too little

Denis Shapovalov won his first ATP career title in Stockholm, beating Filip Krajinović in the final in straight sets. Then, after reaching the final of the Paris Masters, he attained a career-high of no. 15 in the world. Despite these, his season was marked by some ups and downs.

But now, the Canadian needs to focus on the 2020 season. The highlights of his season were the semi-finals at the Miami Open, at the Winston-Salem Open and the Chengdu Open, in addition to the victory in Stockholm. The grass season was his worst swing: three matches and three defeats in the first rounds, in Stuttgart, at the Queen's and at Wimbledon.

Too little for a tennis player who says grass-courts are his favorite surface. From Miami to Winston-Salem he had a period of great technical crisis. But if on clay-courts his tennis still does not reach a sufficient level, we all expected great things from him on fast surfaces.

In the middle part of the season, Shapovalov disappointed all expectations. The good matches he is playing from Winston-Salem onwards, however, can be preparatory for his 2020. At 20, it is still too early to understand how and where he can become, but if he aspires to become one of the best, he will have to work on many aspects of his tennis.

Above all on the management of fame and pressure, which more and more often put young players in difficulty. He is slowly improving, but in 2020 the improvements will have to be more rapid and more concrete: this is the only way to move from a young star to a champion.