Shapovalov's 'dream come true' as teen defeats Nadal

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Denis Shapovalov is into the quarterfinals of a Masters 1000 event for the first time. (AP)

Denis Shapovalov surprised even himself with a stunning win against Rafael Nadal in the third round of Montreal, which followed a defeat of Juan Martin del Potro in the second round.

The 18-year-old Canadian received a wild card into the event and, having barely secured a come-from-behind win in the first round, has taken the tournament by storm.

He came from a set down and a mini-break in the third-set tiebreak to defeat Nadal.

"Yeah, you could tell why he's won so many Grand Slams. His ball was just so heavy. He's such a warrior," Shapovalov said. "So it's honestly, like, a dream come true for me to beat a player like that."

During his courtside interview with Canadian television, the 18-year-old recalled waking up that morning while staying with fellow Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, and seeing a poster of Nadal on the wall.

Following his win against the player himself, he bent down and kissed the court. "I mean, I couldn't believe it actually happened," he said.

The teenager kept up his attacking play, while Nadal criticized himself for playing defensively.

"I just tried to stay calm, tried to play every point, go for my shots," he said.

Shapovalov also acknowledged the local fans for spurring him on.

"Yeah, the crowd was ridiculous. I've never been in a sporting event where the fans get so loud,” he said. “It's so much fun to be a part of. It's so much fun having them cheer me on.”

Shapovalov plays Adrian Mannarino in the next round. 

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