Denis Shapovalov advances to third round at Rogers Cup after brief Twitter outburst

First, another emphatic victory for Denis Shapovalov at the Rogers Cup.

Then, an apology from the 19-year-old tennis star.

Bouts of rain played havoc with the schedule on Wednesday, and Shapovalov, originally slated to play Fabio Fognini on centre court, was pushed to the grand stand court, which has a smaller capacity.

In a fit of pique, Shapovalov sarcastically tweeted “Got moved to grand stand” followed by an emoji of clapping hands and #welldone and #homeevent. The tweet wasn’t up long, as Shapovalov deleted it soon after.

The location of Shapovalov’s match didn’t matter, as he beat Fognini 6-3, 7-5 to advance to the third round.

“First of all, I just want to apologize to the fans and friends that weren’t able to see me (play),” said Shapovalov, who had said on Tuesday that he wanted to put on a show in the tournament for his fans.

“I just know how many friends wanted to come out and how many fans were looking forward to seeing me on centre court this week. And, unfortunately, with the rain delay, it got moved to grand stand. So it was a little bit disappointing in that sense.

“But the crowd on grand stand, I think it helped me a lot because it was so ecstatic, so energetic because it’s so compact, that it actually bothered Fognini quite a bit, especially toward the end. It worked in my favour.”

There was frustration for Fognini, who had some words for Shapovalov during one changeover. Later, Shapovalov told reporters he didn’t know what was said.

Shapovalov, ranked No. 26 in the world, had to dig in against the No. 14 Fognini after going down 0-4 in the second set.

“I was just preparing for the (possible) third set trying to get a rhythm,” Shapovalov said. “And then once I got that one break, I told myself, ‘Okay, let’s keep fighting and maybe you’ll have a chance to break him again.’

“I just picked my level up. I kind of loosened up. When I was down 4-0, but I was just missing the balls by a little bit. It was actually pretty close. I knew I was able to come back.

“It was extremely satisfying to win that set, not having to go into a third set.”

As Shapovalov moved on, Wednesday marked the final Rogers Cup match for Daniel Nestor, as the Canadian great will retire after this season. Nestor and doubles partner Vasek Pospisil lost in three sets to Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez.

Shapovalov will take on Robin Haase of the Netherlands, ranked No. 39 in the world, on Thursday, but not before 6:30 p.m. In the only career meeting between the two, Shapovalov beat Haase on the clay in Rome in May at the Italian Open.

Shapovalov acknowledged the tweet he had sent during the day, saying “it came out the wrong way, which is why I deleted it. It was nothing against anyone. It was just disappointment from my part that these fans that have waited the whole year to watch me weren’t able to see me this year. Luckily, they’ll have a chance (on Thursday).”

Shapovalov has made significant strides since taking Montreal by storm a year ago, advancing to the semifinals where he lost to Alexander Zverev.

Shapovalov is feeling similarities to what he experienced last summer when he made the charge in Montreal.

“Definitely,” Shapovalov said. “My game is at a very high level right now. I think having my mom (Tessa) on the side has helped in the last couple of weeks.

“I’ve really picked up my game. I’m really happy with where I am right now.”

In the bigger picture, Shapovalov is glad that several young players are carrying the torch for the generation.

“It’s unbelievable where the tennis level is at now,” Shapovalov said. “Every week you’ll have crazy matches, and it’s a really exciting time.”

In the final match of the night, Montreal teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime fell to Russia’s  Daniil Medvedev 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (9-7).

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Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies

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