ATP Stockholm: Denis Shapovalov breaks the spell to reach first ATP final


by   |  VIEW 2643
ATP Stockholm: Denis Shapovalov breaks the spell to reach first ATP final

The ATP Tour will get the new champion on Sunday in Stockholm, with Denis Shapovalov and Filip Krajinovic advancing into the title clash. The 4th seed Denis Shapovalov is through to the first ATP final after a 7-5, 6-2 triumph over Yuichi Sugita in an hour and 17 minutes, scoring the first victory in the eighth ATP semi-final after a failure in the previous seven.

Yuichi prevailed against Janko Tipsarevic in the last match of Friday's program after converting the tenth match point in a marathon, having not much left for today's clash despite a promising start and a 4-2 lead.

With no room for errors, Denis claimed 11 of the last 14 games to march over the top and become the third player born in 1999 in the ATP final after Alex de Minaur and Miomir Kecmanovic. Dropping only three points behind the first serve, Shapovalov landed 11 aces and fending off three out of four break chances to mount the pressure on Sugita who couldn't endure it, suffering four breaks to propel the youngster into the title match.

It was a slow start from the Canadian, repelling a couple of break chances in the fourth game before playing a loose forehand two games later to send the Japanese in front. Denis broke back in the next game and held with a service winner for a 4-4, earning another break at 5-5 when Sugita netted a backhand and firing four winners in the next game for a 7-5.

A backhand crosscourt winner pushed Shapovalov in front at the beginning of the second set, holding in game two with a booming serve and opening a 3-1 advantage with four direct points in the fourth game. With the momentum on his side, Denis grabbed another break to extend the lead and the victory was in his hands when he delivered three winners in game eight, setting the title clash against Filip Krajinovic.

The Serb is through to the third ATP final thanks to a 4-6 6-3, 6-3 win over the 5th seed Pablo Carreno Busta in their first meeting on the Tour. Both players had eight break chances and Filip played better in the pivotal moments, fending off five and securing five breaks to dominate in sets two and three and stay on the title course.

Carreno Busta kicked off the clash with a stronger pace, racing towards a 4-1 lead before Filip claimed back to 4-4, with another break for the Spaniard in game ten for a 6-4. Krajinovic took charge in set number two, forging a 4-0 advantage and closing it with a break in game nine to set up a decider where he had the momentum.

Carreno Busta wasted his opportunities on the return in the first and third games of the final set, paying the price later in the set and allowing Krajinovic to take 12 of the last 15 points from a 3-3 to cross the finish line first and reach the second final of the season.

Filip broke at love at 4-3 and held at 15 a few minutes later for a much-needed result that should improve his ranking position.