Shapovalov thrills again, advances to Montreal semifinals

One night after his shocking upset over top seed Rafael Nadal, Canada’s Denis Shapovalov booked a ticket to his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semifinal on Friday night in Montreal.

Rebounding from a poor start as he did the previous evening, Shapovalov beat Adrian Mannarino of France 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the central court quarterfinal, setting up a showdown in the last four againsts the winner of Germany’s Alexander Zverev and Kevin Anderson of South Africa.

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Denis Shapovalov of Canada celebrates after winning a game over Adrian Mannarino of France during quarter-final play at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament Friday August 11, 2017 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Shapovalov faced seven break points in the first set, conceding two on his way to an early deficit. Winning only 55% of his first serve points, the 18-year-old’s form was no match for Mannarino, ranked 42nd on the tour (Shapovalov is no. 143).

A short rain delay in the second set was followed by Shapovalov taking his first break point off 29-year-old Mannarino, who also suffered a fall as the Canadian made his comeback. Shapovalov took nine of 11 first serve points in the second set, up from 11/20 in the opening frame, and didn’t allow any break points – two major areas of improvement as the match progressed.

Shapovalov struck the first blow in the third set, winning a break point to go up 2-1, but failed to consolidate against the Frenchman as Mannarino quickly equalized to level the set 2-2. The Canadian won his third break point at an ideal stage of the deciding set when Mannarino hit long, giving Shapovalov a 5-4 lead before the teenager wrapped up the contest on serve.