Photo: Jewel Samad Agence France-Presse
While Denis Shapovalov had commnencé the year 2017 by disqualify Canada from the Davis Cup, the player is caught up from the 250th position in the world ranking in the 51st.
No athlete has caught the attention of Canada in 2017, which Denis Shapovalov.
The amazing progress of the young player of 18 years in the ATP rankings, earned him the trophy Lionel Conacher award for canadian Press male athlete of the year.
Shapovalov has collected 20 of the 64 votes (31 %) in the poll conducted among commentators and officials of the sports sections of the media across the country.
He was ahead of the captain Sidney Crosby, who has guided the Pittsburgh Penguins to a second Stanley cup in a row, by a single vote. The batting power Joey resulted in him winning the Cincinnati Reds finished in third place with 17 % of the votes.
“Frankly, I’m somewhat overwhelmed to get this huge honor, confessed Shapovalov during a telephone interview from Florida, where he trains. There are so many canadian athletes who deserve it. Honestly, it motivates me to continue to work hard. I am very happy. “
In the footsteps of Raonic
This is the third time in five years that the honor is awarded to a tennis player. Milos Raonic, the Canadian ranked in 24th place despite a season shortened by injuries, had won in 2013 and 2014.
Shapovalov follows in the footsteps of Roanic. He began the year at the 250th position in the world ranking, but he climbed up to the 49th spot after his great performances at the Rogers Cup in Montreal and the Usa’s International in New York. He concluded the year at the 51st level.
It is regarded as a rising star with the potential to break into the top 10 and even top 5 in the world.
But what has caught the attention of the participants in the election, it is as much his style and his sense of timing as his talent. The left-handed to the mop of blonde, and on the reverse a hand has captivated the country when he received an invitation to participate in the Rogers Cup in August, where he has enjoyed a spectacular route.
In the second round, he signed a victory in two rounds at the expense of Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 champion of the International of the United States, and it has continued with Rafael Nadal, winner of 15 rounds of a Grand Slam, after he lost the first round. It has again filled a gap round in the quarter-final against Adrian Mannarino to become the youngest player to enter the semi-finals of a Masters 1000 before losing to another prodigy of the next generation, Alexander Zverev.
“It was crazy, recalled Shapovalov. I was proud to play at home, have the support of the whole country. “
“Honestly, it was a dream week. I’ve dreamed of my whole life. If all goes well, in the years to come, I could win the trophy of the Rogers Cup. This is something that I’ve always wanted to do. “
“I went through the gamut of emotions during this week. Everything is in place, at the right time. I was supposed to be at my best, what I’ve been able to do. It is a week that changed many things in my life. A week that I will never forget and I would like to build on to continue to make progress. “
Shapovalov continued to build on its momentum in the International of the United States three weeks later, when he has successfully made it through the qualifications and continued its route until the fourth round, defeating the passage Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 12th-best player in the world, before losing to Pablo Carreño Busta at his seventh match of the fortnight.
But the turning point of his season occurred well before all of this. Shapovalov is presented to the tournament on the grass of Queen’s Club in London just before Wimbledon in June.
“It was one of my first tournaments on the ATP circuit, and I saved a match ball in qualifications, accessed the main board, defeated Kyle Edmund in the first round and pushed Tomas Berdych, who is an incredible player, with the limit of three innings, he reported. It has really provided the confidence to know that I can compete with the best in the world. “
“After that, it was the circumstances that allow us to play on a big stage will arise again. And actually, at the next opportunity at the Rogers Cup, I was in a position to offer great tennis. “
A tough start to the year
Shapovalov had, earlier this year, made headlines for the wrong reasons during the decisive match of the first round of the Davis Cup against Great Britain in February. Dissatisfied with his play during the decisive match, he hit a ball that reached accidentally the umpire Arnaud Gabas directly in the eye, resulting in the disqualification of Canada. He apologized, vowing to have learned the lesson, and has been fined.
It is redeemed by winning the two singles during the confrontation against India in September to allow Canada to keep its place in the world group.
Those who have followed the career of young Shapovalov are not surprised at its success. He won the doubles junior International of the United States in the company of the Montreal Félix Auger-Alliassime in 2015, and the junior title at Wimbledon in 2016. He has won tournaments, Challengers and Futures before you join the best players of his profession.
He is now in a position to enter directly into more tournaments ATP and hopes to continue his progress. Its goal for 2018 is to become one of the top 25.