If the 2016 Wimbledon boys’ title signaled a bright future for Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov, the 2017 Montreal Masters announced his arrival. Saving four match points against Rogerio Dutra Silva in the first round, the 18-year-old went on to record stunning upsets of Juan Martin del Potro and fellow lefty Rafael Nadal as he became the youngest ATP Masters semifinalist in history. Rising to world No.67 straight after Montreal from outside the top 140, Shapovalov had put the tennis world firmly on notice.
A hockey-loving teen who may have pursued that sport it not for tennis, Shapovalov is a proud Canadian. But he also has roots in other nations; born to Russian parents Viktor and Tessa in Tel Aviv, Israel, Denis moved with his family to Richmond Hill, Ontario before his first birthday. Following older brother Evgeniy into tennis at age five, Shapovalov grew up admiring Roger Federer. He is coached by his mother, Tess, alongside former Canadian pro Martin Laurendeau.
As he dazzles with his high-energy style and explosive shot making, Shapovalov also showcases an endearing fighting spirit. In 2017, those qualities combined to help the teenager exceed his own expectations, his goal of a top-150 ranking by season’s end achieved before the Montreal Masters in August. Also a winner over top-50 ranked Kyle Edmund in the Queen’s first round as a qualifier, Shapovalov’s progress was further accelerated by two Challenger titles. With a top-70 ranking ensuring entry into higher-level events, Shapovalov now competes against accomplished opponents with an unmistakable sense of belonging.