Denis Shapovalov has been in the spotlight for many years, perhaps from the spring of 2016 when not even 17-year-old stood out reaching the semifinal of the Drummondville challenger (losing 64 to third from Evans). A sudden ride obtained with some points from highlights that went around the world making the new phenomenon scream.
Many insiders immediately compared him to McEnroe for his even more evident left-handedness thanks to a splendid one-handed backhand. The victory a few months later in the Wimbledon Junior tournament, beating nothing less than Tsitsipas in the semifinal and De Minaur in the final, certified the enormous potential of Denis.
At last October’s Stockholm Open, the Canadian got over the semi-final hump, and then lifted his maiden ATP Tour title. He has not looked back since. “I feel like the end [of the season] was really, really big, a huge step forward for me,” Shapovalov told ATP Uncovered presented by Peugeot.
“But I think it started even before Stockholm. I feel like after Wimbledon, I took a good break... I played Montreal the first tournament back and it was the first time back since my  run and the start of ‘me’, so that just gave me a lot of motivation and [I] remembered the passion and the fight that I have in matches and in tennis”.
For former World No. 8 Youzhny, Shapovalov is his first top-tier mentee since retiring at St. Petersburg in 2018. “For me it was the first player at a top level and slowly we tried to work together,” Youzhny said.
“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”.