Shapovalov season ends on four match losing run as Albot wins in Sofia

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Denis Shapovalov’s season ended in tame fashion after the top-seeded Canadian lost 6-2, 6-4 to Radu Albot at the Sofia Open.

Defeat for Shapovalov, who withdrew from last week’s Paris Masters, also means that he will now not finish what had been one of his best seasons inside the Top 10 of the FedEx ATP Rankings.

“I’m really happy that I was focussed for the whole match and I was just trying to think about my game and not about what he was doing,” Moldovan Albot is quoted on atptour.com. “There are some days that everything goes your way and I think this was one of those days.”

 

In stark contrast to Shapovalov’s strong start to the year, Albot lost his first seven tour-level matches of the season and has struggled with injury.

“The beginning of the year was not good for me. I was not competing at all in the beginning of the year,” added Albot. “When tournaments restarted in the U.S. swing [in August] I was also not playing good there. I was not injured anymore, but I was just playing bad.

“It took me a while to remind myself how the game is played, to understand how to play the game, how to compete, what my strength is, how the game works for me. This is not easy to execute all the time at the highest level, especially when you play with the top, top guys.

“Everybody knows how he plays, how aggressive he is,” Albot said. “I’m really happy that I could handle the pace at the beginning of the match and I’m really happy that I was able to handle it for the rest.”

This latest upset means that Albot will play in only his second ATP Tour quarter-final of the year and he next faces either fifth seed Adrian Mannarino or Belarusian Egor Gerasimov.

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