Shapovalov powers previous Coric into Tokyo semifinals – Tennis Canada

One thing concerning the far east agrees with Denis Shapovalov’s tennis. For the second week in a row, he’s by to the semifinals of an occasion in Asia with out dropping a set.

On Friday, the Canadian booked his spot within the closing 4 of the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships with a straight-set win over Cincinnati Masters champion Borna Coric.

Aside from a quick blip late within the first set, the match was all Shapovalov, who cruised on serve and took benefit of each opening that got here his manner within the 6-4, 6-3 win.

“It was undoubtedly the most effective matches of my season,” mentioned Shapovalov in his post-match interview. “[Coric] is an opponent I’ve struggled in opposition to previously so it’s an excellent win for my confidence”

If the Canadian is to achieve a second closing in as many weeks through the Asian Swing, he’s going to must take down a second 2022 Masters 1000 winner within the type of Indian Wells champion Taylor Fritz within the Tokyo semis.

Shapovalov transformed three of his 4 break factors within the match, whereas solely dealing with one on his personal serve. He put two-thirds of his first serves in play and gained 89 per cent of these factors, solely dropping 4 in whole. The Canadian additionally feasted on his opponent’s second serve, profitable 70 per cent of factors when Coric missed his first supply. He added 29 winners to his opponent’s 11.

It was the Croatian who appeared stronger at the beginning, holding his first two video games to like. However Shapovalov’s big-hitting shortly turned the tables as he struck back-to-back winners, together with a clear forehand return winner on break level, to take a 4-2 lead.

The one time Shapovalov let his foot off the fuel within the match got here as he served for the set at 5-3. A double fault adopted by forehand error gave Coric the break again. However the Canadian responded completely, persevering with to hop on the Croatian’s second serve and breaking proper again to say the opening set.

A break early within the second set was all Shapovalov wanted to place a stranglehold on the match. After breaking for a 3-1 lead, he rode his serve to the end line, profitable 12 of his closing 13 factors on serve.

Shapovalov takes a 4-1 head-to-head benefit into his semifinal with the world No. 11 Fritz. Their most up-to-date assembly was final yr in San Diego, gained by Shapovalov in straight units.

“He’s been taking part in unbelievable this season. He’s improved lots, we’ve had some actually title battles previously. I’ve gained 4 out of 5 however they may have gone both manner,” mentioned Shapovalov of the matchup with Fritz. “It’s going to be 0-0 from the start and I simply must focus identical to right this moment and hopefully I can proceed to play my sport.”

All 5 of their earlier matches had been on arduous courts, together with a five-set win for the Canadian on the 2020 US Open.

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