Denis Shapovalov angrily hits back at ex-coach over attitude accusations
Denis Shapovalov has angrily hit back at former coach Mikhail Youzhny after his professionalism was called into question.
Youzhny coached Shapovalov for the best two years of his career, helping him to a US Open quarterfinal in 2020 and a Wimbledon semi-final a year later.
The Canadian’s career has stalled since, though, and he finished last season ranked outside the top 100 after suffering a knee injury.
However, according to Youzhny, that injury is not the only think Shapovalov has to overcome, with him accusing the 24-year-old of not being willing to do what it takes to become a top player.
Shapovalov, though, is understandably unhappy at those comments.
“Awful how someone can go out of their way to say I’m not giving everything for my tennis when I’ve dedicated my whole life to it from the age of five,” Shapovalov wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
“Not to mention being injured since Wimbledon, rehabbing and doing everything I can every single day just to get back on court.”
Awful how can someone can go out of their way to say i’m not giving everything for my tennis when i’ve dedicated my whole life to it from the age of 5. Not to mention being injured since Wimbledon, rehabbing and doing everything I can every single day just to get back on court.
— Denis Shapovalov (@denis_shapo) December 29, 2023
What did Mikhail Youzhny say about Denis Shapovalov?
Mikhail Youzhny was certainly not complimentary to Shapovalov, suggesting that he was just not committed enough to his tennis to be a consistent top ten player.
He has suggested there are distractions ‘outside of tennis’ that holds him back, although he did not go into any details about what he was referring to with that comment.
“I felt like I can’t bring him the change he needed,” Youzhny said. “He is listening, but he is not fully doing what he needs to do in order to be a top player.
“Two or three years ago, he was one of the guys who could consistently be in the top ten, but for that to happen, he needed to change a few things outside tennis.
“He must be healthy 100%, first and foremost, and physically better. Main thing, he has to try to put tennis as his priority.
“It is his priority for most of the time, but in my opinion, he made some wrong decisions where he didn’t make tennis as the priority.”
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