5 Nov 2019

Sensational Shapovalov returning to ASB Classic

by Rhonda Karl
Sensational Shapovalov returning to ASB Classic

The 2020 ASB Classic looks set to be a showcase of ‘Generation Next’ with 20-year-old sensation Denis Shapovalov announced today he will be returning to Auckland joining fellow youngsters Daniil Medvedev and Karen Khachanov. 

Long being touted as the future of Men’s tennis having been the youngest player to break inside the top 30 since Rafael Nadal in 2005, Shapovalov has found the consistency in 2019 to deliver on his undoubted potential. 

The 20-year-old Canadian took home his first ATP Tour title in 2019, winning the Stockholm Open in October and reached a further final, three semi-final’s and three quarter-final’s in a career best year which has propelled the Canadian to a career high World Number 15.

The excitement machine, who is known as one of the most flamboyant and energetic players on Tour, has proved he plays his best tennis on the biggest stages.  He was the youngest player ever to reach a Masters 1000 semi-final when he beat Nadal and Juan-Martin Del Potro en-route to the final four at the Toronto Masters, a feat he has repeated on the clay courts of Madrid, Miami and indoors in Paris showcasing his abilities on all court-types.

His recent run at the Rolex Paris Masters 1000 featured wins over multiple players inside the world’s Top 15 players, including Fabio Fognini (12), Alexander Zverev (6), Gael Monfils (10) and Rafael Nadal (1) (retired) to meet world number 2 Novak Djokovic in the final – his first at the highest level of the ATP Tour.   

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The action packed lefty is excited to be returning to Auckland.

“Honestly I love the people there, the fans, the tournament is unbelievable. Leading up to the Grand Slam it’s really calm, really chill week and I think that’s super important for players before a hectic two weeks at a Grand Slam.

“New Zealand’s an unbelievable country I feel like everyone is so friendly, and honestly it’s so nice and clean when you walk around the city. I’ve really loved going there the last couple of years” said Shapovalov.

ASB Classic Tournament Director Karl Budge is thrilled to have Shapovalov return to the ASB Classic this January.

“I am so happy to get Denis back to Auckland.  He is probably my favourite player to watch and I have been a huge fan since I first watch him play at the Junior level.  It’s obviously been a great year for Shapo, breaking into the Top 20, taking home his first title, and now hitting a career high ranking of 15 in the world. We’ve always known what he’s been capable of on court, and I think now we’re starting to see that come through in his performances” said Budge.

“It’s the way he plays that made him top of my list to get back.  He is all energy.  He out-Monfils’d Monfils last week in Paris – running, jumping, sliding.  It is all go.  He is entertainment plus and that is what we want to see at the ASB Classic” continued Budge. 

And some big names in tennis agree, with John McEnroe recently stating it was Shapovalov’s in terms of style, energy and intensity that reminded him of his own game the most. With glowing endorsements like that, the young Canadian will be worth the price of admission himself come January. 

The ASB Classic runs from 6 to 18 January 2020, with four Top 10 players already confirmed including Serena Williams, Daniil Medvedev, Bianca Andreescu and Karen Khachanov. With more players still to be announced, this summer is looking to be one on the hottest on centre court.

Tickets available now from ticketek.co.nz or over the phone on 0800 842 538.

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