Shapovalov gets better of Murray, secures 4th-round spot
Denis Shapovalov IANS (File photo)

Shapovalov gets better of Murray, secures 4th-round spot

London, July 3, 2021

World No. 12, Canada's Denis Shapovalov, held his nerve to overcome two-time former champion Andy Murray of Britain 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 in a confident showing to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time.

The Canadian has been enjoying a good run on grass this season, having reached the quarter-finals in Stuttgart and his first semi-final on the surface at The Queen's Club two weeks ago. He carried that momentum into his first-ever match on Centre Court against the home favourite Murray.

Shapovalov will face eighth seed from Spain, Roberto Bautista Agut, as he seeks to reach the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for the second time since the 2020 US Open. Bautista Agut beat Dominik Koepfer 7-5, 6-1, 7-6(4).

Shapovalov, who has been seeded 10th here, fired 45 winners including 13 aces on Friday evening. He saved eight of the nine break points he faced en route to victory.

"I think it's probably one of my best performances, even outside of Wimbledon. I think I definitely played really flawless today and just super solid," Shapovalov told atptour.com.

"It was an incredible experience. It was a dream of mine to grow up one day and play on the Centre Court at Wimbledon. I have seen so many legends play there, and it's always just been a huge goal of mine.

"To go out there today and to play a guy like Andy, who is also just such a legend, and to beat him today with the tennis I was playing, it was incredible for me."

"Honestly, I told him at the net that he's my hero," said Shapovalov. "Achievements aside, what he's (Murray) been able to do in the sport to come back with an injury like this, to be playing the tennis that he's playing, moving the way he's moving I said after his second match it was truly like 'vintage Andy' and so much fun to see as a fan," added the Canadian.

Shapovalov improved to 20-13 on the season with the victory against Murray, who was playing his fourth tour-level tournament of the year.

In another match, seventh seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy progressed to the men's singles fourth round.

Berrettini romped to a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia in one hour and 41 minutes for his 100th tour-level win. The match was suspended for one hour and 31 minutes due to rains, with scores tied 3-3 in the first set.

There was some more good news for Italy on Saturday as 23rd seed Lorenzo Sonego, too, made it to the fourth round -- only the third time that two Italians have reached this stage in the history of the tournament.

Sonego defeated James Duckworth of Australia 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 47 minutes.

Seventh seed Berrettini, 27, came to Wimbledon on the back of three titles in the last three months -- the cinch Championships in London in June, the Madrid Open in May, and the Serbia Open in April -- made it to the last 16 for the second time, having done that in 2019.

On resuming at 3-3 after the rain break, Berrettini broke Bedene's serve and went on to win the first set. In the second, he saved two break points in the second game before surging to take the set. After winning the first two games in the third set, things went on the expected line for world No.9 Berrettini, who sent down 20 aces and 38 winners.

Next up for Berrettini is Belarus' Ilya Ivashka, who defeated Jordan Thompson of Australia, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in just over two hours on Court 14.

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