The European Open will attract a lot of international tennis stars to Antwerp from 15 to 22 October. One of the most eye-catching names is Denis Shapovalov. His name might sound Russian, but Shapovalov is actually a Canadian born in Tel Aviv. A Canadian ready to conquer the world of tennis.
Shapovalov is doing just that by climbing to the fourth spot in the Race to Milan, the unofficial world championships for players under 21. In the so-called Next Generation ATP finals only the best eight players of the past season are invited to take part. Not only does Shapovalov currently sits in fourth place, at the tender age of 18 he’s also the youngest player in the top eight!
The youngster has attained that position by virtue of a strong American tour. Shapovalov made a name for himself by beating the great Rafael Nadal in the 1/8th final of the Rogers Cup. Several weeks later he took down another giant by beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the US Open. After coming through the qualifiers, he went out in the fourth round following a hard-fought game against Pablo Carreno Busta. The Canadian bowed out to a standing ovation at Arthur Ashe and climbed to the 51st place on the ATP World Tour rankings.
Tennis legend Mats Wilander is full of praise for Shapovalov, comparing the young Canadian to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal when they were 18-year-old themselves. The seven-time Grand Slam winner knows what he’s talking about, but don’t just take his word for it. Head to the Lotto Arena in Antwerp and see it for yourself. Who knows you’ll be watching a future world number one.