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Shapovalov's Vitals

  • Age: 22
  • Birthplace: Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Turned Pro: 2017
  • Highest Ranking: 10 (9/21/20)
  • Racquet: Yonex EZONE 98 (Click to purchase on TennisPoint)

To say that Denis Shapovalov took the scenic route into the Australian Open third round would be an understatement. The Canadian had to win the third-longest men’s singles match of the tournament to date to get through Kwon Soonwoo in five marathon sets on Margaret Court Arena.

Part of his struggle included trouble of his own making: Shapovalov had several chances to take the first three sets—all three of them went to tiebreaks— but he only claimed one. Kwon and Shapovalov were locked into a baseline slugfest for four hours and 25 minutes before the Canadian finally emerged victorious with a 7-6(6), 6-7(3), 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-2 scoreline.

"Probably going to sleep in the ice bath tonight," he joked during a post-match interview. ”It was a great match. I’m really happy to get the win today. I just fought through it.”

For Shapovalov, finding a way to victory is a sign of just how much the 22-year-old has grown in resilience and maturity in recent years. After reaching his first Grand Slam semifinal last year at Wimbledon, Shapovalov now has his sights set on a maiden fourth-round berth in Melbourne.

"I think for sure two, three years ago I lose that fourth set and I lose the match, most definitely,” he reflected. “But there's only one thing you can do [in] that situation when things aren't going your way, and that's to fight and to try to give everything you have."

Shapovalov will face No. 23 seed Reilly Opelka of the United States in the third round.