Denis Shapovalov took advantage of Rafael Nadal's withdrawal at the Paris Masters on Saturday. The Canadian revealed how he learned of Nadal's decision: "I was in the locker room right before the match and I had the supervisors let me know.
Of course it's not the way I want to reach my finals, of course, first finals. But, yeah, nonetheless it's a great opportunity for me to be in the finals of a 1000. In terms of Rafa, I mean, yeah, I've played him twice before.
So I felt like on hard courts I could really, really kind of be aggressive against him and really play my game and kind of take it to him. So I felt pretty comfortable, pretty excited to be going out against him. Of course it was going to be a really interesting and fun match for me to play."
Shapovalov will crack top 15 rankings: "Definitely I think my level is there. You know, I've beaten most of these guys here or there. You know, or a guy like Goffin, I have gotten really close with him. Of course I think my level is there and I knew, you know, it's just -- for me it's just a question of time.
I've been putting in the work and I felt like, you know, everyone has their own route and path to kind of get and climb the rankings. And it's just taken me a little bit of time to kind of improve my game and just grow as a player.
But, yeah, of course I'm shocked that, you know, it's coming, you know, kind of not quickly but all in a spurt of one or two weeks. At the same time, I feel like my game has been there almost all season. I've been pushing these guys.
Just haven't been able to get through the finish line. And something in the last couple weeks has clicked for me, so I feel like, yeah, I'm really happy with the way things are turning out."