Denis Shapovalov became the first Canadian to reach the quarterfinals of the men’s singles at the US Open. On Sunday, Belgium defeated 7th seed David Goffin by four sets.
12th seed Shapovalov defeated Gofin: 6-7 (7), 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in the fourth round of the Grand Slam tournament.
In the quarterfinals, 20th seed Pablo Carreno of Spain will face Busta. The Spaniard advanced to the last eight when No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic defaulted – equal to a tennis ejection – after he accidentally hit a line referee with a tennis ball from their fourth round match.
Shapovalov broke only once and it came in the fourth set, at the same time changing five break points over his opponent. He eliminated 13 aces and 52 winners.
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Shapovalov dropped the first set in a tiebreaker before taking the next three.
With the Belgian double missing to give the Canadians a 3-1 lead and even a chance in the second set, he broke Gofin with some help for the first time in his sixth chance.
The 21-year-old left-hander broke Goffin a second time in the opening game of the third set, then served 2-0 and cruised from there for a 2-1 advantage.
Shapovalov converted his third break point 2-1 in the fourth set, and Gofin was unable to serve as the Canadian broke for the fourth time to go up 4-1.
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Goffin hung around and eventually gave Shapovalov 5-3 to a Richmond Hill, Ont., Local only, changing the break point on the next game to take the match.
Shapovalov, ranked 17th and 12th seed at the Grand Slam tournament, has some of the top stars in his career, coming up 0-1 with 29-year-old Gofin. The damage occurred last year at the Hardcourt ATP 500 event in Tokyo.
Concerned about traveling between the pandemic, US Open champion Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were sidelined after two knee surgeries, not on the field, with 33-year-old Djokovic of Serbia hoping to win a fourth trophy at New. York.
In 2017, Shapovalov defaulted on a Davis Cup match against Britain when he accidentally hit the chair umpire in the face with the ball.
“I’m just through it. Honestly, I’m terrible for him. I feel terrible for everyone. No one wants to be in this situation,” Shapovalov said. “Just a fluke. Accidents like this happen. The same thing happens with me.”
Djokovic’s departure means that the man who won the Grand Slam singles title is not in the field. Marin Cilic is the first major trophy winner in men’s tennis since winning the US Open in 2014 to become a champion.
In addition, each of the last 13 Grand Slam trophies has been won by a member of the Big Three of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.
“This is definitely not the way we want to be the new Grand Slam champion,” said Shapovalov: “It’s very boring that these three guys win every tournament.”
3 Canadians can reach the quarters
Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Camel, was one of three Canadian men to play in the 16th round, along with Felix Agar-aliasim of Montreal and Wasek Pospisil of Vancouver.
The Canadian men reached the fourth round of the event the same year. No Canadian in U.S. Open history has reached the quarterfinals, ahead of Shapovalov 0-12 in the 16th round on Sunday.
Bianca Andres of Mississauga in Camel won the Women’s Singles Championship in New York a year ago.
Agar-Aliassim and Pospisil will both play their fourth round matches on Monday.