Another win, another step closer to a potential first ATP final appearance for Denis Shapovalov.
The 20 year old followed the confirmation of his place in the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan by making short work of Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (No. 213) on Friday as he strode to a convincing victory over the German and a place in the Stockholm Open semi-finals.
In what was the first meeting between the pair, Shapovalov wasted no time in asserting his dominance on the match. The Canadian raced out to a quick lead thanks to a demolition job of a first set which saw him break Stebe’s serve three times in a row to take it 6-0.
6-0. 18 minutes. 6 points lost. 😳
— Intrum StockholmOpen (@IntrumSthlmOpen) October 18, 2019
The second set wasn’t quite as straight forward for the youngster, but his ability still managed to shine through. Shapovalov broke Steve’s serve in the fifth game and didn’t look back. In fact, he would conclude the match with another break of serve on the first of three available match points, smashing a lob return to finish off his opponent and claim the 6-0, 6-3 victory.
“It’s amazing to be here,” Shapovalov said in his on-court interview following the victory. “I think I played an amazing match and I just want to wish all the best to Stebe.”
…48 minutes. 😱
Denis Shapovalov blitzes Cedrik-Marcel Stebe 6-0, 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of the @IntrumSthlmOpen, dropping just *five* points on serve in the match.
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) October 18, 2019
Meanwhile, fellow Canadian Steven Diez made it through to the semi-finals of the Ningbo Challenger event in China. The 28-year-old Torontonian stormed to an impressive 6-3, 6-4 victory over the tournament’s top seed Prajnesh Gunneswaran of India to book his place in the last four.
Tomorrow, Diez will take on Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (seeded third) of Spain with a spot in the final on the line.
Later in the day, Vasek Pospisil would make it three Canadian wins with a commanding 6-4, 6-1 victory over second-seeded Taro Daniel of Japan in the quarter-finals of the Las Vegas Challenger. Pospisil has yet to drop a set during his run to the last four, which has included a 6-1, 6-2 win over compatriot Peter Polansky in the second round.
(Feature photo: Intrum Stockholm Open)