World No. 14 Denis Shapovalov admitted playing at the Rome Masters following a deep US Open run isn't easy but he is happy that he has managed to play well at the tournament so far. Shapovalov, seeded at No. 12, saw off world No.
109 Pedro Martinez 6-4 6-4 to reach the Rome Masters round-of-16 for the second time in his career. "Of course it's very tough,” Shapovalov said, per the ATP website. “Especially after the Grand Slam, your body just kind of naturally wants to relax.
Going into a match here is definitely a little bit difficult, but I'm really happy with the way I have been able to maintain my level and maintain physically”. Shapovalov plays next against rising French star Ugo Humbert, who defeated 2019 Monte Carlo Masters champion Fabio Fognini.
"I have definitely some tougher matches ahead of me, for sure," he said. "Hopefully I can keep doing the same thing that I have been doing, because I feel like against these clay-court players the last two rounds, it's worked really well”.
Shapovalov previously admitted to struggling with jet lag
Shapovalov kicked off his Rome Masters campaign with a straight-set win over clay-court specialist Guido Pella. "Guido is definitely not an easy match, especially on this surface,” said Shapovalov, on court, after the match.
“I’m moving well, I’m struggling with jet lag a little bit, especially with the matches I’ve had, but I’m trying to do everything I can to recover. "I think I played at a high level today."
Shapovalov made his maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal at this past US Open. The rising Canadian star blew a good chance to progress into the semifinal as he was edged out by Pablo Carreno Busta in five sets in their quarterfinal clash.
"Yeah, there's definitely a lot of positives that I don't see right now (smiling)," Shapovalov said after losing in the US Open quarterfinal. "It's a tough moment. I was in that match, I had a good chance to win it.
"I was almost in every set. "Very frustrating right now. Tough to look at positives. "But for sure, a hell of a run for me. I'm lucky to be in this position. Taylor Fritz was serving for the match against me. Could have been out by the third round. It's definitely a great week and a half for me." It remains to be seen how far can Shapovalov go in Rome.