Shapovalov falls to Medvedev in Japan Open semifinals


Denis Shapovalov returns a shot against Daniil Medvedev at the Japan Open. (Kiyoshi Ota/AP)

TOKYO — Canada’s Denis Shapovalov was ousted from the Japan Open on Saturday with a semifinal loss to Daniil Medvedev, holding off the teenager’s latest attempt to make his first tour-level final.

Medvedev became the first qualifier to make the final in Tokyo in 16 years by beating the 19-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont., 6-3, 6-3.

The Russian saved the only break point he faced, and has now held serve in 36 of 40 service games this week.

"Denis is a great player and sometimes in tennis, nobody can win all the tournaments," Medvedev said. "Sometimes you lose to someone, sometimes you beat somebody. I managed to show a really good level today, good serve. I managed to break him, so I came out on top."

Later Saturday, third-seeded Kei Nishikori beat Richard Gasquet 7-6 (2), 6-1 to reach the final.

Nishikori won 84 per cent of first-serve points in front of a home crowd and did not face a break point in the 90-minute win over his eighth-seeded opponent.

Nishikori, who has not won an ATP World Tour title since Memphis in 2016, will face Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s final.

Nishikori, who has won this tournament twice, beat Medvedev in their only previous meeting in Monte Carlo earlier this year on his way to the final.

Shapovalov was attempting to become the first teenager to compete for the championship in Tokyo since Michael Chang did it as a 19-year-old 27 years ago.

Shapovalov remains in position to qualify for the Next Gen ATP Finals for the second year in a row. He sits at No. 3.

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