The 23-year-old Denis Shapovalov called it “extremely” exciting to essentially start his career with a win over Rafael Nadal, who has now won 22 Grand Slam titles. In the Montreal Masters round of 16, 18-year-old wildcard Shapovalov upset Nadal by winning 3-6 6-4 7-6 (4).
“It’s unquestionably lovely [when people mention the game]. It was one of my first significant matches, sort of the beginning of my career. It was amazing to compete and prevail over a legend like Rafa. I think it’s wonderful because I feel like every time I return here, people remember me and say, “Oh, I watched that match, I saw that match,” and you kind of have a connection with the locals, hopefully lasting throughout my entire career,” Shapovalov said to the ATP, via Sportskeeda.
Shapovalov on what has changed since his incredible performance in Montreal in 2017
Shapovalov was expected to make significant contributions to the game until he shocked Nadal. In the last five years, Shapovalov has won one ATP championship, advanced to one Grand Slam semifinal, and consistently placed among the top 10.
Shapovalov observed that his maturity and experience have greatly increased when he thought back on the past five years. “Definitely quite different, I believe, simply in terms of maturity, “Explained Shapovalov.
Obviously, I was a child at the time. It seems, at least to me, that the time has passed extremely rapidly. It hasn’t been five years, in my opinion. The years seem to fly by when you compete in tournament after tournament on the tour, in my opinion.
On the other hand, if I reflect, there have been so many experiences and moments that I can cherish today as opposed to back then, when I didn’t really have any such matches or encounters. So, undoubtedly, far more responsible and composed in stressful situations.
I feel like I’ve developed and learnt a lot.” Shapovalov’s 2022 Montreal campaign was cut short after he lost to Alex de Minaur in the opening round.