Canada’s Denis Shapovalov wins first career ATP title at Stockholm Open

Denis-Shapovalov-Sweden

Denis Shapovalov of Canada reacts during his match against Yuichi Sugita of Japan, during their men's single semi finals match at the Stockholm Open tennis tournament at the Royal Tennis Hall in Stockholm, Sweden, Saturday Oct. 19 2019. (Claudio Bresciani / TT via AP)

STOCKHOLM — Canadian Denis Shapovalov has his first ATP Tour title.

The fourth-seeded Shapovalov, of Richmond Hill, Ont., captured the Stockholm Open on Sunday with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Serbian Filip Krajinovic.

"I think it’s a big step to win my first title," he said. "Honestly, I think the most important thing for me is just to keep improving my game."

Not only was it Shapovalov’s first ATP title but he becomes the first Canadian Tour winner since Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., in Brisbane in January 2016.

It marked the first time Shapovalov had ever faced the No. 60-ranked Krajinovic.

The Canadian was ranked No. 34 in the world prior to this week’s action but will crack the top-30 with this result for the first time since July. In April, Shapovalov jumped to a career-best 20th in the world rankings from No. 23 after reaching the semifinals of the Miami Open.

"I was No. 20 in the world but I’m not concerned about getting back to that ranking," he said. "I’m really happy with this week.

"I’m just going to try to take it one week at a time."

This tournament was also a breakthrough for Shapovalov, who’d been 0-7 in semifinals before beating Yuichi Sugita on Saturday to advance to the final. And despite the victory, Shapovalov said he’s far from being a finished product.

"There’s a lot to improve," he said. "I think there’s still a lot, not gaps, but areas where I can get better.

"I can definitely get (cleaner) at the net, improve my returns, improve my movements. There’s many things I can get better (at) that will help me for the future."

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