The former No. 8 ranked player, Mikhal Youzhny had came on the scene for Denis Shapovalov in North Carolina at the Winston-Salem Open. It was in conjunction with his long time coach and mother Tessa, that Youzhny would give assistance.
Shapovalov made good of the coaching and lasted through to the semifinal where he was defeated by Poland's Hubert Hurkacz. He had made it to the third round of the U.S. Open against a turbulent 5-set battle he lost with Gael Monfils.
The Asian Swing started and Shapovalov went deep into the semifinals of the Chengdu but couldn't win over the Spaniard, Pablo Carreno Busta. The Japan Open and Shanghai Masters unfortunately wasn't very successful for the Canadian as he might have sat down and had second thoughts as to when positive results would come from Youzhny's coaching.
It was then, that the inevitable happened. Denis Shapovalov packed his bags last month in October and travelled to Stockholm where he loved the city. He had made his debut there last year with losing in the second round to Ernest Gulbis.
He had thought his game had improved since last time and had good wins in 2017 by defeating Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro. The added difference might have been more maturity and experience in his shots. But the addition of former ATP player, now his coach Mikhal Youzhny could prove victorious.
Shapovalov felt assured by his strategies and won over Alexei Popyrin and Cedrik-Marcel Stebe to move into the semifinal. He met up with Japan's Yuichi Sugita and kept his consistency and aggression on point as he called the shots in his favor, winning over Sugita 7-5, 6-2.
Things began to come together as Shapovalov went int the final with Serbia's Filip Krajinovic. The Canadian hadn't dropped a set the entire tournament and with consistency and making his shots, he won over Krajinovic in straight sets 6-4, 6-4.
The combination of Shapovalov's mom giving advice and then Youzhny along with self-confidence sealed the deal for the Canadian NextGen. Krajinovic couldn't deny it saying "He was a better player today, he deserved to win."
Shapovalov was overjoyed that he won his maiden title and in the City he had great respect for. The Canadian admitted his doubts at making it through the tournament saying "I struggled to get past the semifinals, so to get my first title here in Stockholm...I love this City so much..."
It was with Youzhny looking on that Shapovalov had to place his huge golden trophy down to make his acceptance speech. He thought it would never happen and thanked his team and fans saying "You guys have been by my side.
It really carried me...We've been working really hard to lift an ATP title..." Denis Shapovalov knows how difficult it was to make the right shots at the right time in obtaining a title. He was also glad in making history, mentioning that "..it is amazing to be the first Canadian to win it."
He looks forward to the 2020 season with his mom giving her input as well as Mikhal Youzhny and the rest of the team on hoping that the upcoming season will be just as prosperous for everyone involved.