Denis Shapovalov joins Rafael Nadal on Barcelona player withdrawal list

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Denis Shapovalov joins Rafael Nadal on Barcelona player withdrawal list

Canadian tennis star Denis Shapovalov won't be kicking off his clay season next week as he has withdrawn from the Barcelona Open. Shapovalov, ranked at No. 15 in the world, was scheduled to make his third Barcelona appearance this year.

Shapovalov debuted at the Barcelona Open in 2019, when he was beaten by Cristian Garin in the second round. Last year, Shapovalov reached the Barcelona round-of-16 before losing to fellow compatriot Felix Auger-Aliassime.

The Barcelona Open organizers suffered a major hit earlier this week, when Rafael Nadal pulled ouf ot the event. Following the withdrawal of Shapovalov, a place in the Barcelona main draw has opened for Pablo Andujar.

Shapovalov aims to help abused animals

This week, Shapovalov launched Shapo Shelter, a platform that has the goal of helping dogs and cats in shelters find their new homes.

Motivated by people's cruelty, Shapovalov wanted to find a way to help abused animals. "Over the years I've heard so many cruel stories about certain animals that were so helpless. With Shapo Shelter, we're going to highlight the stories of these poor animals that can't tell their own stories in hopes of finding them new homes, as well as tell the stories of all these different shelters and organizations trying to help these beautiful animals," Shapovalov said in a video he posted to the Shapo Shelter's Instagram account.

Shapovalov is hoping his initiative helps animals live better lives. "Our goal is to find as many animals in need of their forever homes and give them a chance to have a great life!" added Shapovalov in a separate post on his personal Instagram account "I've got a huge love and passion for helping out animals.

I've been supporting different shelters throughout the years. I've got so many pets of my own. So I'm really excited to announce that I put together a team and have started my own page called Shapo Shelter which is going to help out different shelters around the world promote their animals, both dogs and cats and try to find them new homes."