You are sorely mistaken if you think that’s a lazy allusion to ice hockey, the sport of Shapovalov’s country and my own personal favorite. Rather, Shapovalov said it himself, in a clever nod to the National Basketball Association’s D’Angelo Russell, who made the celebratory phrase go viral during his time with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Shapovalov was in a celebratory mood because of his pressure-packed, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 win over the No. 11 seed. A tight contest from the start, both men used their potent serves—Querrey doing more damage up the T; Shapovalov exploiting his left-handed delivery by going out wide—to great effect. Shapovalov, who can also wallop an ace up the middle, didn’t give Querrey a break chance in the first set; Querrey offered Shapovalov but one in the second set. While Shapovalov did make the most of that chance, Querrey broke his flashy adversary twice to force a decider.
In Shapovalov’s first match in Miami, he edged Viktor Troicki in a third-set tiebreaker. The fact that Shapovalov didn’t need a final-set tiebreaker against Querrey is a testament to the ice in his veins. Shapovalov saved seven break points in his final four service games, none bigger than the one at 5-5, 30-40. With momentum firmly with Querrey after a three-point run, Shapovalov relied on a pattern that has made him one of the game’s most tantalizing young talents: wide serve to the backhand, fire the ensuing forehand for a winner. Shapovalov double faulted plenty in this match, but when he had to have a serve, or had to make a shot, he did just that.
TenniStory: Denis Shapovalov: