The hype surrounding Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov in the last month has been euphoric, but if Eugenie Bouchard’s career is any indication, it’s important to keep expectations in check for young tennis players.
“Genie, more so than Milos (Raonic), is bit of a cautionary tale about don’t get ahead of yourselves,” said Sportsnet writer Ryan Dixon on Saturday’s The Sportsnet Hotstove.
The talk around Shapovalov these days would certainly sound familiar to anyone who followed Bouchard on her magical run as a 20-year-old in 2014. That year she reached the semifinals at the Australian Open and French Open, then appeared in the Wimbledon final.
But Bouchard has struggled to regain that form ever since, winning only three matches at the four majors in 2017.
“She really showed something in that year and I felt at that point it was a matter of time before she won one and you see what has happened in the interim,” Dixon said on Sportsnet 590 The Fan. “So we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves with Shapovalov but there’s certainly some high praise out there.”
Sportsnet writer David Singh agreed with Dixon but said that with everything Shapoovalov has shown so far, it’s hard not to get excited.
“It does feel like Shapovalov’s time is here,” Singh said. “He’s poised on the big stage in New York under a lot of pressure and he’s playing with no fear and, more importantly, he’s having fun.”
The 18-year-old Shapovalov had an historic month, becoming the youngest player to reach a Masters 1000 semifinal at the Rogers Cup and now becoming the youngest player to reach the U.S. Open’s Round of 16 since 1989.