The flashy left-hander currently sits at No. 16 in the ATP Rankings.
Canada’s Denis Shapovalov burst into the scene in 2017 when he defeated one of the all-time greats, Rafael Nadal, in the semifinal of Rogers Cup as an 18-year-old.
He was big before Bianca Andreescu became bigger. Fans thought he would become the first Canadian player to win a Grand Slam singles title, but Andreescu beat him as she won the U.S. Open last year after defeating Serena Williams in an intense final.
Since upsetting the Spanish legend, Denis Shapovalov has failed to match that kind of performance. However, the last six months have been good for him as he won his first ATP title in Stockholm.
“I want to use my game to inspire more kids that are going their own way, that isn’t supported, and show that it’s possible to do it on your own if you truly believe and work hard,” said the 20-year-old to ATP.
“Hopefully it can inspire the young generation of Canada to pick up racquets and believe that they can become tennis players [while] living and training in Canada.”
Denis Shapovalov’s romance with Tennis began very early as the game runs in her family. His mother Tessa played professionally during the 1990s. However, life hasn’t been easy for the Canadian star as her mother left her job to open her tennis academy to provide more court time to his son.
He remarked, “Growing up, I wasn’t a normal kid. I remember waking up at 5:00 or 6:00 am to practise before school, training at 10:00 or 11:00 pm, trying to get better, improving something, crying on the court and just putting in everything I had.”
“My parents and my team put in so much effort because we came from our own way. We didn’t get any support so we had to put in all the effort, all the money, everything, We were questioning what we should do because we got to a certain point where I was travelling and we couldn’t afford to go to more tournaments. But I always believed in myself and my family believed in me.”
His family’s sacrifice paid off as he won the ITF Junior title at the age of 14 and lifted the boys’ singles trophy at Wimbledon three years later. He is financially stable right now and wants to enjoy his tennis without any pressure.
“When I wake up, my only purpose is to get better and improve something. I’m trying to grow as a player and a person. I want to enjoy where I am in my career. I don’t have to worry about finances anymore or what I’m going to do if I don’t win this match. Just have fun out there and show the world my game,” signed off Denis Shapovalov.