Do layovers count as visiting a place, or not?
Denis Shapovalov’s lone recollection of touching down in Texas before this week came via connecting flight at the state’s two largest airport hubs, DFW (Dallas) and IAH (Houston).
While he’s in an unfamiliar land known for its boots and barbecue, the Canadian quickly found a slice of home Monday night: a hockey arena. There, Shapovalov caught up with Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars. The center grew up in Brampton, Ontario, about 30 to 40 minutes from where Shapovalov’s family settled in another Toronto suburb, Vaughan.
“First of all, it was great to see him again. We've known each other for maybe about four or five years,” Shapovalov told TENNIS.com via phone Tuesday, adding that the two traded stories about life on the road. “And the Toronto guys came out, so I got a chance to meet all of them. It’s a special bond when you're from Toronto, so to share that with the boys was pretty cool.”
The connection was felt by both sides. Call Shapovalov Seguin’s good luck charm for the night, as the 32-year-old won the game for Dallas by scoring the decisive shootout goal.
“That was like a fifth-set tiebreak,” chimed in the world No. 27.