Denis Shapovalov: 'I have been struggling mentally'

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Denis Shapovalov: 'I have been struggling mentally'

Denis Shapovalov opened his run in Winston Salem on a winning note. The Canadian player beat the American Tennys Sandgren in straight sets to reach the third round. “Definitely a great win for me", recognized Shapovalov.

"Obviously playing Tennys is tough. I’ve played him a couple times in the past and they’ve been good matches. Normally I played really well against him, so it was kind of similar today. I was trying to take time away, play pretty aggressive and I think I did a good job in the second set when he was coming back to kind of just stay calm”.

On why he has struggled to deliver his best tennis during the clay and grass courts season, Shapovalov added: “It’s been difficult. I really jumped high quickly. I beat some top players at the beginning of my career.

I don’t know if it’s given me the best opportunity to grow into the player I want to be. But that being said, it was important for me to take a step back after Europe (this year) and just think about what’s different, what’s going on because in practices I was able to beat the top players and I’ve been playing well all season”.

He feels confident looking to the future: "I think (my game) is at a good level. I think I’ve been playing really well all season. I think more I’ve been struggling mentally, but I feel really fresh right now and ready for tough situations like the second set today. So yeah, I feel pretty confident looking forward to my next match, and of course, the U.S. Open”.

Denis Shapovalov