Denis Shapovalov def Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 64 64 76(3)
The struggle is real. 18-year-old Candian Denis Shapovalov is a dynamic southpaw with a whipping forehand opponents have struggled to contain all season. And by opponents, I mean pinnacles of the sport like Juan Martin del Potro, Rafael Nadal…and now Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Earlier this month, Denis dismantled del Potro and Nadal in Montreal, becoming the youngest player ever to reach the Quarters and Semifinals of a Masters-1000 event. It was his last event before the US Open. He arrived in Flushing rested, and ready to prove that the Next Gen is now.
At the start of 2017, Shapovalov was ranked outside the top-200. Today, he’s the World #69 and dangerous for all-comers. Last week, he blasted through Qualifying. On Monday, he dispatched Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in straight sets. Wednesday night, he did the same to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Just like fellow Next Gen star Frances Tiafoe in the Federer match Tuesday night, Denis started the match with a break and earned set-1 on serve. In the second, he drew blood after the second sit-down. By the third, Tsonga was beyond frustrated, and Jo’s mounting unforced error count gave-up another break in game-7. The former World #5 saved some theatrics for Shapovalov’s attempt to close-out the match, breaking Denis to stay in it; but in the tie-break, Shapovalov was simply too good, overpowering Tsonga on his groundstrokes.
In just over 2-hours, Shapovalov found himself in Slam’s Round-2 for the first time. The World #12 hailed a cab to JFK International. Denis gets top-50 Kyle Edmund next.