Nadal goes down to Shapovalov, Federer battles past Ferrer in Montreal

There will be no new world No. 1 next week. Rafael Nadal, who would have regained the top ranking if he had reached the Rogers Cup semifinals, was upset by Denis Shapovalov 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(4) in the third round on Thursday night. In front of a home Canadian crowd, Shapovalov scored a surprise victory–and the by far the biggest one of his career–after two hours and 45 minutes.

After the 18-year-old broke Nadal’s serve to end the second set, a wild third ensued. Shapovalov saved six break points to stay even early before a stretch of routine holds led to a tiebreaker. Nadal led 3-0 but won only a single point the rest of the way and watched Shapovalov blast a forehand winner at 6-4 to seal the deal in style.

Shapovalov admitted afterward that he woke up in the morning in Felix Auger Aliassime’s basement and the first thing he saw was a poster of Rafael Nadal on the wall. He told Auger Aliassime to take it down. A little more than 12 hours later, Shapovalov took down the real Nadal.

The 15-time Grand Slam champion called it his worst loss of the year.

If Nadal hasn’t done much losing this year, Roger Federer has done next to none. In fact, the world No. 2 has lost just twice. Federer actually lost a set on Thursday, but he refused to go down to David Ferrer and instead prevailed 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 56 minutes.

“For me it was more of a struggle,” the 36-year-old Swiss said. “As you know, you don’t always feel the same and each opponent is a different problem. He started very well, especially on the return on my second serve. I was not able to serve my first serve where I wanted to, and he hurt me on the second serve.”

With the victory, Federer improved his lifetime record against Ferrer to 17-0.

“I already beat other players 17 times,” Federer noted. “Sometimes I played them maybe 30 or 40 times. They ended up beating me at a certain stages, like (Andy) Roddick, (Fernando) Gonzalez, and (Robin) Soderling. Sometimes I beat them 10 times in a row. At the end they always ended up beating me. That’s why I have a lot of respect for this match today. I know it can’t continue that way. Seventeen is a lot.

“The last match we played were three tight sets in Toronto, then three sets Cincinnati, and again today. So these statistics are a bit ridiculous, because I have a lot of respect for David. As a person, he’s very nice. He’s a great fighter on the court. So this type of head-to-head is a bit strange.”

4 Comments on Nadal goes down to Shapovalov, Federer battles past Ferrer in Montreal

  1. Good story about Shapo waking up in FAA’s basement and seeing the poster of Rafa, lol…

    But would FAA take orders from Shapo? I think the poster is still up. 😀

    As for Daveed Ferrer – it’s looks like he’s really found a good part of his best form – to be confirmed in Cincy and US Open.

    Fed looks to be on shaky ground at the moment but maybe that idea will be dispelled by blowing by RBA.

    It doesn’t feel to me like Federer wins Montreal. But I’ve been a skeptic about Federer winning Montreal since the draw came out. This tournament is full of surprises.

  2. I have mixed feeling about Shapo this morning. As much as I hate to say it I hink Adrian Mannarino will slip through with the win. And there’s that curse about beating Rafa and going on to win the next match in my head.

    Mannarino in 3
    Federer in 3

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