Two years ago, Denis Shapovalov was a 16-year-old junior tennis player asking for photos with some of his idols. Now, the other tennis stars are going to be asking him for a photo.
On Thursday night, the now 18-year-old Shapovalov truly made a name for himself throughout the entire tennis community as he took down No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4) in the quarterfinals at the Rogers Cup in Montreal.
Canadian tennis fans learned about Shapovalov at an early age when he won the junior boys’ championship, but he truly broke onto the professional scene when he defeated Nick Kyrgios last year at the Rogers Cup at just 17-years-old.
After Shapovalov defeated Kyrgios, who was ranked in the Top 20 at the time, things really started to pick up for the youngster. During his time at the Rogers Cup last year, Shapovalov took part in the Ball Hockey Challenge and was star struck when he got to meet Connor McDavid. A few weeks later, he was posing alongside McDavid in a photo for a BioSteel Sports promotion as one of the sponsored athletes.
His name just continued to grow from there, as other professional athletes started to take time out of their day to pose for a quick picture with the upcoming Canadian tennis star.
2017 has been pretty good to Shapovalov so far. He was selected to play for the Canada Davis Cup team and is getting plenty of experience at the highest level, but his greatest accomplishment this year is definitely his upset victory over Nadal, which made him the youngest player to ever reach an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarterfinal.
Shapovalov will look to keep his hot hand rolling on Friday night when he goes up against Adrian Mannarino in the quarterfinals and you can bet all of Canada is going to have his back going forward from here.