In Montreal, Alexander Zverev improved upon his already outstanding 2017 campaign. With his triumph over local hero Denis Shapovalov in the semi-final, world no. 8 upped his score to 45-13 in an hour and 43 minutes. Alexander reached his sixth ATP final of the year, aiming to win back-to-back championships after defeating Washington the week before.
With those points, Zverev overtook Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer as the third-best player in the ATP Race. The German, who is vying for the second straight championship after Rome, became just the sixth U20 player to appear in two Masters 1000 finals in a single season (the first in ten years).
In front of his local audience, 18-year-old Shapovalov gave his all in the youngest Masters 1000 semi-final since 2005. He still committed far too many mistakes, particularly with his forehand. In the crucial moments, Alexander had the upper hand, holding off six out of seven break attempts (14 out of 15 in the previous two matches), and stealing Denis’ service three times for another significant triumph.
In 2017, Alexander Zverev defeated Denis Shapovalov to go to the Canada Open final.
The German made 27 unforced errors compared to 12 wins. Comparatively, the Canadian made 43 errors in addition to 17 winners, which wasn’t enough to win at least a set.
In the shortest range up to four strokes, Alexander led 48-38. He won the longest rallies as well, allowing him to win in straight sets and set up a title match with Roger Federer. With seven easy holds in the first eight games and Shapovalov surviving game five to stay in the match, it was a strong start for both young players.
After his rival’s double fault put the score at 4-4, Alexander broke and held without difficulty in the following game to win the first game and gain momentum. The Canadian committed a another double fault at the start of the second set before recovering the break to tie the match at one.
In the eighth game, Zverev faced three break chances, but he unleashed four service aces in the ensuing five points to escape and even the match at 4-4. With back-to-back double faults in the eleventh game, Denis sealed his demise, taking another break and letting Alexander serve for the victory.
With three break opportunities for Shapovalov and three match points for Zverev, that game was the longest of the entire match. On his second break point, Denis had an open forehand but missed it, and he never had another chance. In order to add another memorable final to his resume, Zverev thwarted the final break attempt with a service winner and won the match when Shapovalov missed a backhand.