'Facing Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon got to me,' says Denis Shapovalov

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'Facing Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon got to me,' says Denis Shapovalov

World no. 12 Denis Shapovalov is the top seed at the next week's ATP 250 event in Doha. The Canadian claimed seven straight victories at the ATP Cup and the Australian Open, reaching the quarter-final at the season's first Major and losing to Rafael Nadal in five sets.

Denis will kick off the Doha campaign in the second round against Alex Molcan or Christopher O'Connell, feeling good on the practice court and hoping for a deep run. Last year, Denis played in the Wimbledon semi-final for the first time and pushed world no.

1 Novak Djokovic to the limits in a 7-6, 7-5, 7-5 loss in two hours and 44 minutes. Shapovalov revealed that the occasion got him against the world's best player, playing well but losing the most decisive points to end his run in the last four.

Novak won 11 points more than Denis and had the upper hand behind the second serve and in the crucial moments to seal the deal in straight sets. Shapovalov gave his best to follow Djokovic's pace, serving for the opening set and fading from the court in the closing stages of sets two and three.

Novak had 32 winners and 15 unforced errors, defending ten out of 11 break chances and securing three breaks that pushed him over the finish line. Shapovalov fired 40 winners and over 30 mistakes, unable to control his strokes more efficiently and keep the focus when it mattered the most despite giving his everything.

After forcing Novak's error, Denis grabbed a break in the opener's third game. The Canadian delivered three perfect service games to move 5-3 in front and served for the set in game ten. Suddenly, Novak broke back in the last moment to level the score at 5-5 and gain massive momentum.

The Serb won the tie break 7-3 after taking all five return points, as Denis spoiled his chances with a double fault in the last point.

Denis Shapovalov spoke about his Wimbledon clash against Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic was under pressure again in the second set, surviving five break chances in games four and six and raising his level.

Shapovalov's serve worked like a charm until the point when he had no room for errors, which was not easy to overwhelm. The Canadian got broken at 5-5 following another costly double fault, and the Serb closed the set a few minutes later for a massive advantage.

They both wasted return chances at the beginning of the third set, and it was all about Novak after that, serving well and waiting for an opportunity in Denis' games. Shapovalov survived at 3-3 but could not in the 11th game, just like in the previous set.

Djokovic broke the youngster to open a 6-5 lead and sealed the deal with another impressive hold to book a place in the 30th Major final. "Any tournament you go to, it has a strong field. It's a difficult tournament for sure.

In terms of my game, I feel good. Conditions are pretty similar to Australia's, and the balls are the same. I feel good on the practice court, and I'm ready for my first match. Hopefully, I can have a good week. It's not easy to compete as a seeded player, but I'm getting used to that.

It's a privilege, and I'm working on that. I want to improve my game without setting specific goals. When I become a better player, the results will come on their own. I played the Wimbledon semi-final against Novak Djokovic last year, and the occasion got to me.

I played well, but could not deliver my best tennis when it mattered the most and defend the advantage I built," Denis Shapovalov said.