It appeared so easy to have success last month for Denis Shapovalov downed his Canadian comrade, Vasek Pospisil at the second round of the ASB Classic in New Zealand. It was the first time they've ever met against each other in their careers.
The other was a team effort at the Canadian Davis Cup Finals this past November. This month Vasek Pospisil was playing on a protected ranking defeated Shapovalov in the first round at the Open Sud de France 6-2, 6-3. With a new coach Mihkail Youzhny in tow, the Canadian NextGen is wondering what is happening to the magic in his game.
He had currently defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev at the ATP Cup but closing up the gaps to first round losses continues to be a struggle for Shapovalov. If it wasn't losing in the opener of the Australian Open to Marton Fucsovics after punching out seven aces, it was losing to Pablo Carreno Busta in the Vienna Open.
Shapovalov had toughed it out this past November at the Paris Masters and made it to the final with Novak Djokovic but lost in straight sets. Mikhail Youzhny reveals that bringing Shapovalov to success isn't as easy as it looks.
He should know being the former No. 8 player on the ATP tour himself. "It's not magic work," Youzhny says. The improvements came to the young Canadian the last part of 2019 as he won the Stockholm Open title and made it to the final of the Paris Masters in a battle which he lost to Novak Djokovic.
At times losing is winning. It opens a player's eyes to what wasn't done and the things that have to be accomplished. Youzhny sees the qualities that Shapovalov has and says "He can do everything on the court, like volley, backhand, serve.
That's why...it's interesting to work with him. But most of all Shapovalov sees how his game as evolved and knows that he can put forth the strategies and skills to go deeper in tournaments. He also admits that "..I'm only 20 years old, and I feel like there are a lot of room to grow and areas where I can work on."
The next tournament will be a test and putting forth the right formula will be an outflow for Denis Shapovalov for success.