“Gonna Win Slams”: Frances Tiafoe Lauds Denis Shapovalov After National Bank Open Victory

Published 08/11/2021, 10:53 PM EDT
Aug 11, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Denis Shapovalov of Canada reacts after a point against Frances Tiafoe of the United States (not pictured) at Aviva Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports


At the National Bank Open, home-favorite Denis Shapovalov was looking for his first win since his Wimbledon semifinal loss to Novak Djokovic. For this, he met the 23-year-old American tennis player Frances Tiafoe in the second round. Eventually, the Canadian failed to complete the task, losing in his home event 1-6, 4-6.

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As a fifth seed and World No.10, Shapovalov was inarguably one of the candidates worth watching at the Canadian Open. However, home fans would not get to see him much as he saw an early exit from the tournament.

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As for the American, it was a noteworthy victory over a Top 10 ranked opponent. Moreover, while Tiafoe stuck to his guns, he caused the tournament’s biggest upset in Toronto.

Aug 11, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Frances Tiafoe of the United States returns a ball to Denis Shapovalov of Canada (not pictured) at Aviva Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Following the match, the 23-year-old American did not shy away from praising his opponent and another promising Canadian talent, Felix Auger-Aliassime.

“Shapovalov gonna win Slams. Gonna be special. Canadians have to be proud of him and Felix. They are special players, special people,” Tiafoe said.

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Denis Shapovalov vs Frances Tiafoe: National Bank Open 2021 R2

From the get-go, Tiafoe had his head into this match. Without any doubt, his time spent on court in Toronto compared to Shapovalov‘s helped his case.

The 22-year-old Canadian struggled to come to grips with the American’s free-flowing strokes. Consequently, Shapovalov could only hold one service game successfully, losing the opening set 1-6 in mere 26 minutes.

Aug 11, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Denis Shapovalov of Canada returns a ball to Frances Tiafoe of the United States (not pictured) at Aviva Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

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Following the opening set, the tempo settled down as the time between points grew substantially. Also, so as to not allow Tiafoe a lead in the second set, Shapovalov got past three break points.

At 4-4 in the second, the American once again geared up his attack on the left-hander and earned three break points chances himself. Stunningly, Shapovalov saved all the three and then saved another three to bring the game back to deuce.

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Ultimately, Tiafoe got seventh-time lucky and closed the game for a 4-5 lead in the second. As a result, he was now only one service game away from a second win in the National Bank Open main draw. At last, the 23-year-old successfully outed Shapovalov on home turf. The final score: 1-6, 4-6.

As per the draw, Tiafoe will face either Gael Monfils or John Millman to reach the last 16 in Toronto. Do you think he can go all the way in this event?

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Purav Joshi

1134 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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