TORONTO | It will be interesting to see if Denis Shapovalov will be able to recreate the same kind of magic this year in Toronto, he who raised a real wind of madness, last year, in Montreal, triumphing big names such as Juan Martin del Potro and Rafael Nadal on the courts of Jarry Park.
Toronto tennis fans, who will be visiting the Aviva Center in the distant, far-flung suburbs as early as Monday, would be eager to see another episode of “Shapomania”.
Expectations are much higher this year against the spectacular 19-year-old. All eyes will be on him Tuesday night, when he will face the French Jeremy Chardy on the central court.
But from Monday, late afternoon, the public will see Shapovalov in action while he will participate in a doubles match with Felix Auger-Aliassime. Their opponents will be Novak Djokovic and Kevin Anderson, the finalists of the last Wimbledon tournament.
He wanted to play with his friend
“It’s always a good thing to play a doubles match to warm up and feel better on the court before starting the singles tournament,” said Shapovalov. However, the main reason I registered in doubles was because I wanted to play again with Felix. He is a good friend and we had fun playing together in the past.
“It’s important for the future of the Davis Cup Canadian team that Felix and I can play doubles again. Of course, it does not look easy against the pair Djokovic-Anderson, but we can enjoy the experience. “
Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime were crowned junior doubles champions at the 2015 US Open.
Big points to defend
In the ticket promotion campaign, Shapovalov can be seen on posters all over the city. He is now the top ranked Canadian (26th) by ATP, four rows ahead of veteran Milos Raonic.
Shapovalov has to contend with the pressure to defend big points at the Rogers Cup as he reached the semifinal round last year in Montreal, following victories against Rogerio Dutra Silva, Del Porto and Rafael Nadal. Adrian Mannarino.
“I do not care about that and I prefer not to think too much about what happened last summer,” he said. There is no question that I let myself be affected by the pressure. I pay no attention to the fact that there are more distractions when I play at home. I block this out of my mind and focus on my game. I feel confident right now and playing in front of my fans can only be stimulating.
“I beat Chardy at Wimbledon, but it was a close match [score of 6-3, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4]. I expect the same kind of match from him. I know that when I play my best tennis, I can beat anyone on the circuit, “said Shapovalov.
“One year has passed since my success in Montreal and I am now convinced that I am at my place on the ATP circuit, among the best players. I’m only 19 years old and I know there is still a lot of room for improvement in my game. I suffered a setback against Kei Nishikori in the third round in Washington because my serve was not to point. “
The absence of Laurendeau
Shapovalov continues to train and play games without the presence of his trainer Martin Laurendeau, who is bored by serious discomfort in the back for two months.
“I miss him a lot, confirmed the young player. It’s unfortunate that Martin’s back pain prevents him from traveling. Fortunately my mother is here to watch over my workouts. I would say that she knows better than me all facets of my game! I feel like I’m playing well right now and I have no reason to be worried about my level of confidence on the eve of the start of the tournament. “
Canadian Filip Peliwo could not qualify for the main draw on Sunday, losing to Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka, who won in 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 sets. Ryan Harrison, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Daniil Medvedev, Evgeny Donskoy, Bradley Klahn and Ilya Ivashka managed to qualify.
MAIN GAMES ON MONDAY
► CENTRAL SHORT
Peter Polansky (WC *) (CAN) c. Matthew Ebden (AUS)
Not before 13H
Jack Sock (USA) (13) c. Daiini Medvedev (Q) (RUS)
Follow-up of Kevin Anderson (RSA) and Novak Djokovic (SRB) c. Félix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) and Denis Shapovalov (WC) (CAN)
Not before 7 pm
Milos Raonic (CAN) c. David Goffin (BEL) (10)
Follow-up of Vasek Pospisil (WC) (CAN) c. Borna Coric (CRO)
► NATIONAL BANK COURT
Jared Donaldson (USA) c. Benoit Paire (FRA)
Followed by Peter Gojowczyk (GER) c. Fernando Verdasco (ESP)
Followed by Bradley Klahn (Q) (USA) c. David Ferrer (ESP)
Followed by Diego Schwartzman (ARG) (11) c. Kyle Edmund (GBR)
Followed by Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) (12) c. Yoshihito Nishioka (Q) (JPN)