World No. 14 Denis Shapovalov was happy with the way he was able to work his way back into the match against Rafael Nadal. Shapovalov, seeded at No. 14, recovered from two sets down to force a decider but Nadal kept his focus as he beat the Canadian 6-3 6-4 4-6 3-6 6-3.
“I'm happy with the way I was able to fight and come back,” Shapovalov said in his post-match press conference, per the ATP website. “I definitely found my game late in the third and in the fourth [sets].
It's good to have more time at the Grand Slams to have opportunities to try to find your game. [It was a] good tournament for me overall”. After going down by two sets Shapovalov realized he needed to return better.
“I just changed things,” Shapovalov added. “I felt like I was shanking a lot of returns, so I just tried to prep a little bit higher. Once I did that, I was really seeing his serves and returning well”.
Shapovalov admits it 'sucks to lose'
Shapovalov fell just short of claiming a big comeback win over Nadal. “It just sucks to lose that one,” Shapovalov added. “I definitely felt like I had it on my racquet.
And, I mean, [in the] third, fourth and fifth set, I felt like I was the better player, had more chances. [It was] just one bad game from me”. Nadal broke Shapovalov in the second game of the fifth set and then held on to his serve the rest of the way to book a five-set win.
“Rafa did a good job in the last set,” Shapovalov said. “Once he broke, he held his service games and served really big. He's obviously putting a lot of pressure on you and making a lot of balls and playing aggressively when needed. Maybe other opponents would give me a little bit more freedom. It was definitely tricky”.