“Can Be My Mentor”: Denis Shapovalov Makes Cheeky Statement in Praise of Novak Djokovic After Wimbledon 2021 Defeat

Published 07/09/2021, 11:04 PM EDT
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 9, 2021 Canada’s Denis Shapovalov leaves the court after losing his semi final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Toby Melville

It was just another day in the office for World No.1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinal of Wimbledon 2021. The unconquered force notched another classy victory against Canada’s Denis Shapovalov, who put up a valiant fight. With this, the 19-time Grand Slam winner is still undefeated in the majors this year and will look to maintain the record on Sunday.

Novak Djokovic in full flight

It was another brilliant display of tennis from Djokovic, who came from behind in all the sets to break the Shapovalov resistance. The Canadian was gritty and produced some brilliant shots, especially off the backhand wing. Breaking Djokovic in the first set was pivotal for him, but he failed to convert.


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Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 9, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his semi final match against Canada’s Denis Shapovalov REUTERS/Paul Childs

After snatching the first set in a tiebreak, everyone anticipated Djokovic to run away with the encounter. However, Shapovalov gave the defending champion a run for his money.

Djokovic needed to dig deep and save multiple break points and claw his way to victory. Battling the 10th seed and majority of the crowd, Novak prevailed 7-6(3) 7-5 7-5 to reach the final.

WATCH THIS STORY: Wimbledon 2021: Roger Federer’s Emotional Farewell

Shapovalov praises World No.1 Djokovic

The 22-year-old has always spoken highly of Novak Djokovic. Following his semifinal exit, Shapovalov had some cheeky things to say about the Serbian. “I’d be happy if Novak [Djokovic] can be my mentor, that means he stopped playing (laughs). He told me a few words in the locker room, and he doesn’t have to do that. It means a lot to me, it is big for me.”



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The duo has always had the utmost respect for each other. Following his victory, Novak had only nice things to say about Shapovalov, while also admitting that the Canadian was the better player for a phase of the match. It was a brilliant atmosphere on Centre Court as two masters put on a show.


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Novak Djokovic will now contest in his 30th Grand Slam final. He will also look to win his 20th major and tie the record with fellow rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

On the other side of the net will be Italian Matteo Berrettini, who will go all-out to stop Djokovic. Will Nole go all the way? Or will Berrettini spoil the Serbian party?



Sankalp Harikrishnan

653 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is a tennis and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football, and table tennis. Apart from his professional desires, Sankalp does voluntary service with his friends to feed hungry animals on a regular basis.