Canadian tennis star Denis Shapovalov, 23, admits he would like to approach big moments with excitement rather than fear. Shapovalov, the 22nd-ranked player in the world, hasn't been really convincing with his game this season as he is just 24/20 on the year.
During the clay and grass seasons, there was one period during which Shapovalov suffered six consecutive losses. Shapovalov is undoubtedly one of the most talented players in the game but it seems that he is having difficulties handling the big expectations that have been placed on him.
"I think it comes with experience. When you’re coming up there’s more things to fear like you don’t belong or feel like you won’t make it, but obviously I feel like I’ve got a great level with my game and that any moment I can pick it up and play some great tennis," Shapovalov said on the ATP Tennis Radio Podcast.
Shapovalov reached his first ATP final last week
At the inaugural Korea Open in Seoul, Shapovalov made his first ATP final. After winning three matches in straight sets to reach the Seoul final, Shapovalov suffered a surprise defeat to Yoshihito Nishioka.
Nishioka, the 41st-ranked player in the world, defeated Shapovalov 6-4 7-6 (5). "Tough one today but steps forward! Thanks so much for your support, means the world to me. And huge congrats @yoshihitotennis, playing great tennis.
Keep going," Shapovalov wrote on Twitter after the match. "Really enjoyed my first time in Seoul, it was such a special week. To all the fans here that made me feel at home, I appreciate all the love and hope to see you again soon."
This week, Shapovalov is staying in Asia as he is competing at this week's ATP 500 event in Japan. Shapovalov is making his third Tokyo appearance this week. Previously, Shapovalov made the Tokyo semifinal in 2018 and reached the round-of-16 in 2019.