Coach Mikhail Youzhny sees big potential in Denis Shapovalov

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Coach Mikhail Youzhny sees big potential in Denis Shapovalov

Former world No. 8 Mikhail Youzhny is thrilled to have a chance to work with Denis Shapovalov as he sees a big potential in the rising Canadian star. Youzhny, who retired from professional tennis in 2018, has been working together with 20-year-old Shapovalov since last summer.

The partnership has been going well so far as the Canadian won his maiden ATP title last October and also achieved a career-high ranking of No. 13 in the world this past January. "For me it was the first player at a top level and slowly we tried to work together,” Youzhny told the ATP Tour.

“He can do everything well on the court. The question is about the consistency, but he’s a great player. From my side he has a great game, interesting game for the spectators, for the public. He’s a little bit different from other players.

He can make some really beautiful points, he can make some crazy points and he can be really solid in some moments”. Shapovalov, ranked at No. 16 in the world, didn't start the season on the way he hoped he would.

The Canadian has never won back-to-back matches this year. The 20-year-old was on a four-match losing streak before he beat Marin Cilic in the Marseille first round to put an end to his drought. But the Tour suspension could help Shapovalov to clear his mind and make a fresh start once the season continues.

Youzhny, a former two-time US Open semifinalist, hopes he can help the Canadian to fully unlock his potential and become a future Grand Slam champion.