Denis Shapovalov: 'I looked up to Rafael Nadal to clean my game'


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Denis Shapovalov: 'I looked up to Rafael Nadal to clean my game'

In press conference at the Montpellier Open following his win over Marcel Granollers on Thursday, Denis Shapovalov said he started being passionate about tennis by watching Rafael Nadal playing on YouTube videos. "I wanted to clean up my lefty game", said the 19-year-old.

Shapovalov also revealed: "I was texting (Frances) Tiafoe after each macth in Melbourne. We are great friends and I think Tiafoe's story inspiring" The American reached his maiden Major quarter-final losing to Rafael Nadal.

Asked about his main goal for the season, Shapovalov concluded: Definitely winning an ATP title is my first priority, my biggest priority. It’s something me and my team are working very hard towards and I think it’s definitely achievable if I’m playing really good tennis and if all the stars align.

That’s definitely the first goal. Honestly I’m just trying to enjoy myself. Just putting the work in every day, trying to get better, so that a couple years down the road I can really [compete] to win majors and push these top guys out hopefully once and for all,” Shapovalov said, cracking a laugh.

“At the end of the day, I just [want to] enjoy myself. It’s a fun journey. It’s been a long one, but I definitely have a lot of years ahead of me so I’m trying to just enjoy my time around here."