“It Took a Toll on Me”: Denis Shapovalov Reveals His Approach Against Struggles of Bubble Life

Published 03/17/2021, 2:00 AM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 12, 2021 Canada’s Denis Shapovalov reacts during his third round match against Canada’s Felix Auger Aliassime REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


World No. 12 Denis Shapovalov is one of the rising tennis talents on the ATP Tour. Thus, one might naturally expect him to play as many tournaments as he can this year. However, as the hard bubble life continues for tennis professionals, the Canadian is planning to look the other way.

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Currently, the 21-year-old is playing at the ATP Dubai Open for the first time in his career. He stated that he chose to play in Dubai to practice and relax. Also, he revealed that he pulled out of Rotterdam Open because he was not ready for another bubble. In addition to this, the former World No. 10 also withdrew from the Monte-Carlo Masters 1000 event to be held in April.

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Denis Shapovalov on the difficulties of a tennis bubble

Denis Shapovalov talked about how the bubble Down Under had affected him. He said that because of this, he did not want to play more tournaments.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 12, 2021, Canada’s Denis Shapovalov in action during his third-round match against Canada’s Felix Auger Aliassime REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

“I’ve been trying to stay out of the bubble as much as possible. After Australia I felt like it took a toll on me,” the Canadian said. He also added that he would use this as an opportunity to try new tournaments.

On his participation in Dubai, the 2020 US Open quarterfinalist said, “It’s more interesting because everything is new, the courts, the restaurant. It’s a new experience, so it’s a little bit easier on myself.”

He said that he does not want to play too much this year if the bubble life continues because “it is extremely difficult mentally to be locked up like this.”

However, going by his recent on-court interview, the Canadian seems to be enjoying playing in Dubai.

As far as the next six months are concerned, it is unlikely that any tournament will run without quarantine conditions. However, Shapovalov said that he would find a way to compete without losing his passion.

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Shapovalov looking forward to enjoying the matches he plays

Shapovalov highlighted that staying inside a bubble has found many players struggling with their passion for the sport, and he does not want to lose his.

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“We’re trying to take the approach of minimizing that as much as possible,” he added. “And just enjoying every match that I do go out and play this year.”

Tennis – ATP Cup – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 2, 2021, Canada’s Denis Shapovalov reacts during his group stage match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Kelly Defina

At present, Shapovalov will face Polish professional Hubert Hurkacz in the Round of 16 at the Dubai Open. He will then go on to participate in the first Masters 1000 tournament of the year, the Miami Open 2021.

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Purav Joshi

693 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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