Denis Shapovalov continued his strong start to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Wednesday in his 200th tour-level match (109-91).
The third-seeded Canadian beat former junior rival and No. 13 seed Hubert Hurkacz of Poland 6-4, 6-3 in 76 minutes for a place in the quarter-finals, where he will meet Jeremy Chardy of France.
“I definitely played some great tennis today,” said Shapovalov. “I’ve struggled against Hurkacz in the past, because he has great weapons and it’s definitely not easy to play against him. I’ve been playing well and took my chances. I was serving well today. I feel mentally fresh and I feel like I’m in great shape. It looks like everything is coming together.”
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Third seed Shapovalov played smart tennis and used his left-handed swinging serve to dominate in the first set, which featured one service break. The Canadian returned consistently well in a polished performance, finishing with 26 winners for his first victory in their third ATP Head2Head meeting.
Serious speed from @denis_shapo! #DDFTennis pic.twitter.com/lAfruzjYxu
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) March 17, 2021
“I feel that I was able to play well yesterday and today,” said World No. 12 Shapovalov. “I’ve put in a lot of good work with Mischa [Mikhail Youzhny] in a training block after the Australian Open, and I do feel confident in my game and how I feel physically. But it’s impossible to say when everything will click together. It’s never guaranteed, and I am fighting for every point.”
Shapovalov will now play Chardy, who scraped past eighth-seeded Russian Karen Khachanov 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and 36 minutes. The World No. 53 has already reached two ATP Tour semi-finals this year at the Antalya Open (l. to Bublik) and the Murray River Open in Melbourne (l. to Evans).