‘It’s incredible’ – Denis Shapovalov elated with Rome revenge over Nadal
Canadian tennis star Denis Shapovalov has reached his sixth Masters 1000 quarter-final in Rome after an impressive comeback win over 10-time Rome Open champion, reversing his loss to the ATP veteran at the same stage in Rome last year.
Rafael Nadal was looking to reach his 100th Masters level quarter-final and win a record-extending 11 titles in the Italian capital, but was stopped in his tracks by the 13th Shapovalov.
Shapovalov, who moved up to 15th in the ATP rankings this week, lost the first set 6-1 before fighting back to win a close second set 7-5.
In the third set, Nadal was clearly hampered by his reocuring foot injury which limited his movement.
Despite resistance from an injured Nadal, the 23-year-old Shapovalov held on to complete a 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 win in two hours and 37 minutes.
This was Shapovalov’s second career win over the 21-time Grand Slam champion, the first coming at the Canadian Open Masters in 2017 in their first-ever clash.
The win for Shapovalov meant he was able to reverse the loss he suffered to Nadal last year at the same stage in Rome.
The 2021 round of 16 tie went into a third set tiebreaker, with the Canadian squandering two match points before Nadal claimed the victory and then went on to win the title.
Denis Shapovalov following the match, labelled the win as “incredible” and “super satisfying”, especially as a result of the match last year.
In recent interview, Shapovalov told reporters, “It’s definitely incredible to me to beat him. Having match points against him last year was kind of a hurtful feeling.
“Obviously great tennis, but that one really hurt. Happy to get the win this time around. I think someone mentioned it’s been like five years since the first time I played and beat him. Definitely great that I was able to do it, especially on clay.”
“I think both are very satisfying. He’s very difficult to beat. I think the first win will always be very special. It was kind of my opening scene onto the tour. Yeah, it was just super special the way it happened in a third set tiebreak being down 3-0 and coming back. Of course, today is definitely a great, great win for sure as well.
“Having match points last year against him, not being able to convert. Coming back this year and turning the match around, it’s super satisfying to beat the greatest player on clay of all time. Super happy.”
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