Shapovalov sends Zverev crashing out of Australian Open
MELBOURNE – Denis Shapovalov upset an out-of-sorts Alexander Zverev 6-3 7-6(5) 6-3 in broiling heat to reach his first Australian Open quarterfinal on Sunday.
The Canadian lefthander was magnificent against the German third seed, earning one of his biggest career victories at Margaret Court Arena.
Shapovalov blew a match point with a wild forehand into the tramlines but wrapped up the contest when Zverev netted under pressure.
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“Definitely happy with where the game is at,” said the ecstatic 22-year-old, long tipped for success at the Grand Slams.
“I think off the ground I was just really playing very well, really feeling my shots off both wings.”
The 14th seed will meet Rafa Nadal for a place in the semi-finals.
“It’s always an honor to go up against a guy like Rafa,” Shapovalov said of the Spanish great, who is bidding for a record 21st Grand Slam title.
“It’s always going to be a battle against him. It’s going to be a tough one but I’m going to enjoy it.”
It was a disappointing exit for Zverev, who was bundled out of the quarter-finals by Novak Djokovic last year.
Late last year Zverev suggested he and Russian Daniil Medvedev might become part of a new ‘Big Three’ with world number one Djokovic in the 2022 season.
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