The Shape Of Things To Come: Denis Shapovalov!

stringertom

Bionic Poster
16 years old but already playing an aggressive all court game behind a wicked lefty serve and very solid movement/net skills. The FH is a bit loopy but his OHBH is sublime, coming over the ball with flat aggressive angles even on the return.

Even in today's SF loss in three sets to the veteran Daniel Evans, you can see the seeds of a game that will make his rise up in the rankings a very rapid process.

Keep him on your radar. His fellow Canadian teenager, FAA, received more attention initially but Denis is not to be ignored.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
I swear to God you're looking up promising juniors just to make another thread.
Nope...ATP site streamed the match and I watched and was impressed by his already mature game for a young lad one month shy of his 17th birthday.

I'm not ready to pinpoint how far he'll climb but he has nice weapons to work with on HCs and the instincts he showed today to shorten points and attack behind his serve will probably work very well on grass too. Clay might be trickier but his lefty serve followed by his loopy FH could work on that surface.
 

merwy

Legend
The obvious unknown is their height. He and FAA are a fair height for their age. If they grow into their height, they will both be top players. It's always nice, for me, to see a youngster coming through with a big one hander!
You don't need to be that tall to be a top player. Fed and Nadal are of average male height and I never had the feeling they would benefit from being any taller. Being too tall can make your movement sluggish.
 

gogo

Hall of Fame
You don't need to be that tall to be a top player. Fed and Nadal are of average male height and I never had the feeling they would benefit from being any taller. Being too tall can make your movement sluggish.
I don't think Shapovalov is that tall. Likely average....around 6 foot or so.
He just needs to grow into his body a little bit more, however his power already surprises me for such a scrawny guy.
 

merwy

Legend
Glad to see kids still play with a one hander successfully. It would be a sad day when that shot disappears in the pro circuit
 
I don't think Shapovalov is that tall. Likely average....around 6 foot or so.
He just needs to grow into his body a little bit more, however his power already surprises me for such a scrawny guy.
Thats what I mean't by grow into their height. It is inevitable they will grow a bit further, though they're not actually as tall as I thought! So it will be interesting to see if they still move well if they do rocket up, as can happen with 16 year olds.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Denis is listed at an even 6'0" and that might be a bit exaggerated from the stream I saw today. Evans is listed at 5'9" and he appeared much closer in height to Denis than 3 inches.
 

Rina

Professional
I hope this kid Shapalov does well, but some perspective is needed. In January he barely beat in three sets one of 16 year old Americans, who is rated at 12 at Universal tennis. I think this just shows how poor competition is at these small events. He has improved by truck loads since, beating many that are higher rated, but still perspective is needed. Majority of these kids are better of going to College.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
I hope this kid Shapalov does well, but some perspective is needed. In January he barely beat in three sets one of 16 year old Americans, who is rated at 12 at Universal tennis. I think this just shows how poor competition is at these small events. He has improved by truck loads since, beating many that are higher rated, but still perspective is needed. Majority of these kids are better of going to College.
On his way to a HarTru Futures title this January in Florida he also beat Jason Kubler, the Australian "clay court specialist" who has been ranked as high as #136 from 11 Futures/Challengers titles and 10 finalist finishes.

There's a big variety of levels represented at these Futures tournaments that I can attest to personally as the official stringer at one of the Spring stops on that circuit. I strung for Kudla, Young, Gerald Melzer, Tecau and Estrella Burgos just to name a few while there. I also saw Raonic exit quite early so I didn't work on his sticks. Before I started, some of the notable youngsters on the way up included Roddick and Henman.
 

Rina

Professional
On his way to a HarTru Futures title this January in Florida he also beat Jason Kubler, the Australian "clay court specialist" who has been ranked as high as #136 from 11 Futures/Challengers titles and 10 finalist finishes.

There's a big variety of levels represented at these Futures tournaments that I can attest to personally as the official stringer at one of the Spring stops on that circuit. I strung for Kudla, Young, Gerald Melzer, Tecau and Estrella Burgos just to name a few while there. I also saw Raonic exit quite early so I didn't work on his sticks. Before I started, some of the notable youngsters on the way up included Roddick and Henman.
I am sure you are right about many of the potential players, but as a mom I am worried when I see many of these kids peak at 70 or so ATP at 23 to 25 years old and while that is great to be sure, tennis is such sport that very few earn enough money to justify the expense. For example, Kudla is doing quite well, but so far he earned over a million dollars and this year alone over 80K. While that sounds great, as a lawyer in five years after college and law school he would have earned probably as much, and he would have a secure future in earning more and more each year. The way I reason is unless you are Coric, Zverev or Fritz, and in top 100 or better at 18, your financial future is better with a different profession.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
I am sure you are right about many of the potential players, but as a mom I am worried when I see many of these kids peak at 70 or so ATP at 23 to 25 years old and while that is great to be sure, tennis is such sport that very few earn enough money to justify the expense. For example, Kudla is doing quite well, but so far he earned over a million dollars and this year alone over 80K. While that sounds great, as a lawyer in five years after college and law school he would have earned probably as much, and he would have a secure future in earning more and more each year. The way I reason is unless you are Coric, Zverev or Fritz, and in top 100 or better at 18, your financial future is better with a different profession.
All good points there. Many of the players that fill out the draws in Futures are ex-college players that test the transition and then move on to their alternate and longer lasting professions when success doesn't happen and their limited cash reserves are drained. The others are juniors that move on to college tennis and may play a pro tournament or two on breaks from school.
 

volleynets

Professional
No way! This is the same kid who had videos on YouTube hitting at 8 years old with an awesome one hander and long hair + banana.

I forgot about him since seeing those videos on YouTube back in 2008!
 

gogo

Hall of Fame
A second Futures title for Denis today in Memphis!

This puts Denis solidly in second for under-18 (even though he is only just about to turn 17) behind Duckhee Lee, and well ahead of the distant 3rd/4th, Tsitsipas and Ruud.

This is definitely a young guy to keep an eye on.
 

gogo

Hall of Fame
Denis continues to roll. He won his 2nd Futures title last week and is into another finals tomorrow. I believe his pro record (including qualies) is 33-6. Not too shabby. He also has 2 doubles titles, winning in Orange Park today. It's unfortunate that he hasn't gotten any WC's into any of the US Challengers. The only Challenger he was in (in Canada, naturally) resulted in a run to the semis. The kid has game.

Of course it might mean nothing once he gets to the higher leagues, but he is incredibly consistent and a fighter.

Tomorrow, in an admittedly weak Futures field, he is playing 16yo Miomir Kecmonovic. I only wish the match was going to be streamed. :(
 

okdude1992

Hall of Fame
Wow another futures title. He is dominating at that level. Needs to play more challengers.

Very impressive start to his career, hopefully he can keep developing.
 

gogo

Hall of Fame
Three Futures singles titles so far this year. (with a hat tip to Kecmanovic for taking it to the 3rd set tie break). Not too shabby.

It definitely is a shame that he hasn't had more entries into Challengers. His ranking is higher than some of those in the Tallahassee qualies, for example, but I'm guessing that his ranking wasn't there at the time of cut off...and, of course it's still going higher. And there aren't any North American Challengers for while after that. Denis is doing much of this on his dime, as he didn't opt for the Tennis Canada national program. I hope he gets an agent soon who can fight to get him in some key events. It must be tough slogging it out on the Futures circuit.

I believe that Denis is off to a couple of European junior events after the F15 in Vero Beach next week.

Keep us up to speed StringerTom! (although I would be surprised to see a bit of a let down by Denis, as he's had such a rigorous schedule.)

ETA: Of course I meant I wouldn't be surprised....
 
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Thamel90

Rookie
I got to watch most of the match today, and Kecmanovic's match against Evan King in the QF. I probably wouldn't describe Denis as "all court", he only truly willingly came to the net a handful of times in the match, the rest being short ball approaches and such. He does have good skill at the net though, evident from taking the doubles title. In the 1st set, Shapovalov's 1HBH was DYNAMITE, constantly painting lines , moving Kecmanovic all around the court, winners all over the place. In the second set & early in the third set, that mojo wasn't quite there as frequently, and he made some double faults/UEs in critical points too. Both players displayed some extremely clutch service games, at least 2 instances apiece of being 0-30 or 0-40 down and cranking 2-3 service winners afterwards and taking the game. Kecmanovic was ridiculously steady throughout, his level of play didn't really fluctuate much. He was up 5-4 in the third set tiebreaker & serving, and Shapovalov hit two AMAZING returns off his serves, both within ~6 in of the line or even on them, I can't remember for sure right now.

Was a very fun watch.
 
16 years old but already playing an aggressive all court game behind a wicked lefty serve and very solid movement/net skills. The FH is a bit loopy but his OHBH is sublime, coming over the ball with flat aggressive angles even on the return.

Even in today's SF loss in three sets to the veteran Daniel Evans, you can see the seeds of a game that will make his rise up in the rankings a very rapid process.

Keep him on your radar. His fellow Canadian teenager, FAA, received more attention initially but Denis is not to be ignored.
Post a link next time, mon ami. I wanna see what he's made off
 

ruerooo

Legend
16 years old but already playing an aggressive all court game behind a wicked lefty serve and very solid movement/net skills. The FH is a bit loopy but his OHBH is sublime, coming over the ball with flat aggressive angles even on the return.

Even in today's SF loss in three sets to the veteran Daniel Evans, you can see the seeds of a game that will make his rise up in the rankings a very rapid process.

Keep him on your radar. His fellow Canadian teenager, FAA, received more attention initially but Denis is not to be ignored.
Did I hear Serena say "hi" to him after her win?
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
I proposed a list of possible nicknames to replace "Small Colin" in the Teenage Talent thread. Any of them or your ideas would be better suited; post is bumped in the thread. Let's pick one!
Just got to watch a replay on BBC of their SF win. Felix was just so ebullient after their victory it was a joy to see and they appear to be becoming fast friends. Both have a lanky look that likely means they will mature into ideal tennis builds. Are we seeing the next Agassi and Sampras coming up together. FAA as the charasmatic Agassi seemingly destined for greatness, while Shapalov is a bit of a sleeper like Sampras.

Utterly amazed by Shapalov. The left serve, backhand, and his net play were absolutely stellar. If they win in the doubles and Denis wins the singles tomorrow, its Shapalov who will be matching Federer's junior feat of Wimbledon doubles and singles (just short of 17 years old.) Shapalov is about 4 years (edit: months) older than Federer when he accomplished the feat.

After watching his game and style I think Leftan is a good nickname. A young left handed Stefan Edberg.
 
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stringertom

Bionic Poster
Just got to watch a replay on BBC of their SF win. Felix was just so ebullient after their victory it was a joy to see and they appear to be becoming fast friends. Both have a lanky look that likely means they will mature into ideal tennis builds. Are we seeing the next Agassi and Sampras coming up together. FAA as the charasmatic Agassi seemingly destined for greatness, while Shapalov is a bit of a sleeper like Sampras.

Utterly amazed by Shapalov. The left serve, backhand, and his net play were absolutely stellar. If they win in the doubles and Denis wins the singles tomorrow, its Shapalov who will be matching Federer's junior feat of Wimbledon doubles and singles (just short of 17 years old.) Shapalov is about 4 years older than Federer.

After watching his game and style I think Leftan is a good nickname. A young left handed Stefan Edberg.
You mean Denis is about 39? How did they allow this Benjamin Button in the junior draw???:eek:


You're leaving out a whole syllable of Denis' surname...it's Shapovalov.

He already has a nickname used by his friends and inner circle...it's Shapo.

Yes, his game has some characteristics that translate across all surfaces. This blind hog got a chance to see his game from about 10 yards behind one of the baselines on American green clay. I also was bored one day on the board and was fed an acorn of a link for his match on indoor HCs vs Evans in the Drummondville Challenger SFs. That was a couple of months before I saw him live. I was not disappoint in the flesh. Gonna be a good one!
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
You mean Denis is about 39? How did they allow this Benjamin Button in the junior draw???:eek:


You're leaving out a whole syllable of Denis' surname...it's Shapovalov.

He already has a nickname used by his friends and inner circle...it's Shapo.

Yes, his game has some characteristics that translate across all surfaces. This blind hog got a chance to see his game from about 10 yards behind one of the baselines on American green clay. I also was bored one day on the board and was fed an acorn of a link for his match on indoor HCs vs Evans in the Drummondville Challenger SFs. That was a couple of months before I saw him live. I was not disappoint in the flesh. Gonna be a good one!
What is the blind hog's record on up and comers? Were you out snorting around when the big 4 came up?:p
 

pound cat

G.O.A.T.
And he posts them here in the Pro section because there is no Stalker section....
Assien? I don't understand the nickname.
r Antibes is not nickname,,,,its the only the first part of Shapovalov's doubles partner's name. I can't remember his full name.

Singles and Doubles finals tomorrow ,,,It would be great if he won both . Check Wimbledon.com for the time. I have a feeling doubles overlaps with Murry/Raonic
 
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