“Leaves Centre Court in Tears”: Denis Shapovalov Breaks Down Following Semi-Final Loss to Novak Djokovic

Published 07/09/2021, 2:33 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 a safe ride for Novak Djokovic at the Wimbledon Championships till the quarter-finals as he eased past al his opponents with ease. The only player to take a set off Novak Djokovic at SW19 this year was the Brit Jack Draper.


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Having reached the semi-finals after a straight-sets victory over Marton Fucsovics, Djokovic had the real test at hand in the form of Denis Shapovalov. Despite having a six-match winning record against the Canadian, the fast paced conditions and a clouded sky on Center court might turn against the Serb.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 28, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his first round match against Britain’s Jack Draper REUTERS/Paul Childs

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Let’s see how the match progressed.

Novak Djokovic takes a tightly contested first set against Shapovalov

It was Denis Shapovalov who found a different rhythm and made a dominating start in the first set. He broke Djokovic’s serve and looked all set to run away with the set.

On the other hand, the Serb took his time to settle in the match and just waited for his opponent to make wrong moves on serve.

Just like in so many of Djokovic’s matches, the opponent just couldn’t close out the set owing to the magnanimous defense from the Serb. Shapovalov too, struggled to get past Djokovic as he was serving to win the first set.

As the world number one kept returning the balls in, errors began to flow from Shapovalov’s racquet. In the end, it was the Serb who stopped his opponent from winning the set and leveled the score, 5-5.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 7, 2021 Canada’s Denis Shapovalov in action during his quarter final match against Russia’s Karen Khachanov REUTERS/Paul Childs

The first set went to a tie-breaker and Djokovic still didn’t find his range. But, Shapovalov’s back-to-back unforced errors gave the Serb enough chances to win the first set, 7-6.

The quality of the match just accentuated in the second set as both the players put up an incredible fight. Once again, it was the Serb who was resilient enough on return and asked more questions from Shapovalov.

Shapovalov put up a tough fight till the end against Djokovic

On the other hand, the young Canadian did everything he could to stay in the match until he was broken by Djokovic once again in the eleventh game of the set.

The world number one served for the set at 6-5 and won it comfortably.

Novak Djokovic was ruthless in the third set as well, despite Shapovalov constantly fending off break points with his accurate serve. But, the Serb kept his belief and patiently waited for his opponent to lose his serve.

Just as it happened in the first two set, Denis Shapovalov lost his serve in the tail end of the third set and was defeated by the world number one.

Towards the end of the match, the young Canadian walked off the court with tears in his eyes as he applauded the center court crowd for their magnificent support.

The youngster got support from the legendary Chris Evert as she hailed the Canadian for putting up a scintillating effort.


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The 19-time grand slam champion will now face Matteo Berrettini in the championship match at Wimbledon this year.


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Sagar Ashtakoula

330 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.