Israel-born teen Shapovalov wins again, into semis in Montreal
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Israel-born teen Shapovalov wins again, into semis in Montreal

Following victory over Nadal, dream run continues for rising star, 18; Roger Federer also through in Rogers Cup

Denis Shapovalov of Canada reacts after scoring a point against Adrian Mannarino of France in day eight of the Rogers Cup at Uniprix Stadium on August 11, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images/AFP)
Denis Shapovalov of Canada reacts after scoring a point against Adrian Mannarino of France in day eight of the Rogers Cup at Uniprix Stadium on August 11, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images/AFP)

MONTREAL — Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov, who was born in Israel, followed his upset of Rafael Nadal with another three-set victory to put him in the semifinals of the Rogers Cup, where he will be joined by Roger Federer.

The 18-year-old left-hander, now from Richmond Hill, Ontario, beat France’s Adrian Mannarino 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 and will face fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany on Saturday.

Shapovalov beat 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro in the second round and then knocked off the top-seeded Nadal in a third-set tiebreaker on Thursday in the round of 16.

He broke service for a 2-1 lead in the third set Friday only to hand it back in the next game, but a roar went up when Mannarino wasted a chance to put away a game point and Shapovalov jumped on the chance to break for a 5-4 lead. He leapt in the air as he closed out the match.

 Adrian Mannarino of France congratulates Denis Shapovalov of Canada on his 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory during day eight of the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank at Uniprix Stadium on August 11, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images/AFP)
Adrian Mannarino of France, left, congratulates Denis Shapovalov of Canada on his 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory in day eight of the Rogers Cup on August 11, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images/AFP)

“I’ve been against the wall a couple times this week and I’m very happy I’ve come out several times just playing really good tennis in those situations,” said Shapovalov, who moved with his family to Canada before his first birthday. “I think it really shows how I’ve improved mentally, along with just finding my game at the right moments.”

After facing a run of veterans, he will be up against the 20-year-old Zverev, who beat Kevin Anderson of South Africa 7-5, 6-4.
The second-seeded Federer continued his mastery over 12th-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain with a 6-4, 6-4 victory. The 36-year-old Swiss will next face unseeded Dutchman Robin Haase, a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 winner over Diego Schwartzman of Argentina.

 Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a return against Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain during day eight of the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank at Uniprix Stadium on August 11, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images/AFP)
Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a return against Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain during day eight of the Rogers Cup at Uniprix Stadium on August 11, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images/AFP)

Federer said he knows Haase well from serving with him on the ATP player council and from practicing together.

“I’m looking forward to a tough match because he can serve very well and he mixes up his tactics a lot,” Federer said. “Sometimes he tends to just roll the ball in and use the big serve, or he uses a slice a lot and comes in.”

Shapovalov could play Federer in the finals if both win their semi-final matches Saturday.

Denis Shapovalov of Canada reaches for the ball against Rafael Nadal of Spain during day seven of the Rogers Cup on August 10, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images/AFP)
Denis Shapovalov of Canada reaches for the ball against Rafael Nadal of Spain during day seven of the Rogers Cup on August 10, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images/AFP)

 

Shapovalov was born in Tel Aviv to parents who had immigrated from the former Soviet Union. His mother Tessa, who has also been his coach for much of his budding career, is Jewish and his father is Greek Orthodox.

His victory over Nadal earned him big headlines in Canada, with the Montreal Gazette declaring, “Star is born.”

Shapovalov battled back after Nadal cruised through the first set, then erased a 3-0 deficit in the tiebreaker for the biggest victory of his career.

Rafael Nadal of Spain congratulates Denis Shapovalov of Canada for his victory during day seven of the Rogers Cup at Uniprix Stadium on August 10, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Denis Shapovalov of Canada defeated Rafael Nadal of Spain 6-3, 4-6, 6-7. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images/AFP)
Rafael Nadal of Spain, left, congratulates Denis Shapovalov of Canada for his victory during day seven of the Rogers Cup at Uniprix Stadium on August 10, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Shapovalov defeated Rafael Nadal of Spain 6-3, 4-6, 6-7. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images/AFP)

Shapovalov became the youngest player to reach the tournament’s quarterfinals since Bjorn Borg in 1974. With hockey great Wayne Gretzky and Olympic swimming star Penny Oleksiak cheering for him from the seats, he also became the youngest quarterfinalist at a Masters Series tournament ever and is the youngest to beat a player ranked in the top two in the world since Nadal beat Federer in 2004 in Miami.

“He played well,” Nadal said. “He has a great potential.

“I wish him the best. He has everything to become a great player. He played with the right determination in the important moments.”

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