If you’re searching for rising stars of Tennis, look no further than Denis Shapovalov. The 18 year-old with Russian parentage, and, born in Israel is the up and coming face of Canadian, yes Canadian, Tennis.
Such a young age
At such a young age, Shapovalov has achieved so much in such a short space of time. For this reason, he is now held in such lofty expectations not just in Canada, but, around the world in the Tennis community.
Despite maintaining his life-long Tennis coach Adriano Fuoriva, he has also found tutorage elsewhere. Most noticeably, with world no.8 Dominic Thiem’s coach Günter Bresnik. Talking of the ‘transition’ he needed to jump up the rankings, Shapovalov said, “I’m at a stage where I need a transition coach to get me from 250 to top 50 in the world. I think Günter is a guy that can do that. I’m doing a trial period with him.”
A trial period working with one of the best coaches in the sport, and, training with the brilliant Dominic Thiem and David Goffin will have no doubt impacted the way the young Canadian progresses in the sport. If not anything, it will be brilliant experience for him as he pushes on in his career.
One of the standout moments for the young Canadian was winning the junior Wimbledon title, which he himself dubbed “the biggest tournament for me.” So, from a British perspective, where are our promising and exciting young talents? Why aren’t they winning the junior Wimbledon title at such a young age?
Kids want role models
It is something that Tennis Canada CEO Michael Downey is proud of, speaking before Shapovalov’s remarkable win over Rafa Nadal in the third round of the Roger’s Cup. “They’re going to be watching him play Rafa and they’re going to say, ‘I want to go out, I want to grow my hair a little longer, and I want to be Denis.’ That’s the inspiration. Kids want role models.”
Winning the competition would have seen Nadal return to the top and regain the no.1 spot, so it was by no means a throwaway game for the Spaniard. He was just beaten by the better man on the day, which led to Nadal being gracious in defeat, stating post-match, “Denis played well, he has great potential and I wish him all the best. He has everything to become a great player.”
We must applaud the Canadian Tennis programme, to have so many up and coming talents, with Denis Shapovalov set to step into the limelight. Is there something down the line which can be replicated by British Tennis?
We’ll have to wait and see. Who knows, in the next few months a British hopeful can start forcing their way through, and maybe, just maybe, use the Wimbledon junior Championships as a springboard for their career too.