Shapovalov will face the Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in the quarterfinals inside Foro Italico. The duo has played twice against each other, with Dimitrov winning both the encounters.
The 19-time Grand Slam champion is just one major short of Federer’s tally. Moreover, he heads to Roland Garros as the favorite, a title he has won a record twelve times. Shapovalov revealed that Nadal, Federer, and Novak Djokovic, will all be considered as the greatest of all time.
“I think it’s super interesting as a fan of the sport to see these three guys battling it out for Grand Slam, for weeks of No. 1. It’s very exciting for everyone,” said Shapovalov during the post-match conference after winning the second round.
“I think as legacy stands, no matter who has the most Grand Slams, who has the weeks at No. 1, those three guys are going to be all remembered as the GOATs, as the greatest of all time,” added Shapovalov.
The 21-year-old Shapovalov emphasized that despite the Big 3’s dominance, the young players are pushing them hard. He added that players like Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem are close to beating the Big 3 at the big stages.
Shapovalov claimed that he will try to stop the Big 3 to win his maiden Grand Slam title. Talking about Nadal’s chances at Roland Garros, Shapovalov contended that Nadal has never come so close to equalling Federer’s record.
“Yeah, no, I think it’s a great chance for him to tie Roger. He’s never been in that situation before that he’s come so close to tying Roger,” said Shapovalov.
Interestingly, if Shapovalov wins his quarterfinal match, he is likely to face World No.2 Rafael Nadal at the penultimate stage. Nadal is chasing history by trying to win the Italian Open a record tenth time.