Mats Wilander: Shapovalov is like ‘a combination of Nadal and Federer’

Denis Shapovalov spoke about moving on at the US Open after Kyle Edmund retired due to injury, and questioned why players seem to be getting hurt more and more. (Courtesy: USTA)

Denis Shapovalov has taken the tennis world by storm this summer and now he’s drawing some lofty comparisons.

The 18-year-old Canadian became the youngest man since 1989 to advance to the fourth round at the U.S. Open when his opponent, Kyle Edmund, retired with a neck injury during their match Friday. One day before that happened, Shapovalov received high praise from seven-time men’s singles Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander.

“He is a serious talent. To be 100 per cent honest, you cannot compare Shapovalov to any other youngster. He is a completely different level,” Wilander told Eurosport. “It’s like watching a combination of [Rafael] Nadal and [Roger] Federer at 18 years old. He has the fire of Nadal and the speed around the court of Nadal and he has the grace of Federer. It’s unbelievable.”

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Shapovalov gained international attention in August when he defeated Nadal dramatically in their entertaining Rogers Cup match.

Prior to his victory over Edmund, Shapovalov upset Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

“He really captivates the crowd,” Wilander added. “[Against Tsonga] Last night it was like, ‘Oh my god, where does this kid come from?’ He flies. I’m really, really impressed. The best players in the world better watch out for him now.”

Shapovalov is set to face Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta in the Round of 16 on Sunday.


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