Title breakthrough for Shapovalov in Stockholm
Denis Shapovalov has reached three Masters Series semi-finals but was without a title at ATP Tour level until Sunday’s success in Stockholm.
Denis Shapovalov landed the first ATP title of a career rich in promise when he fended off Filip Krajinovic in the final of the Stockholm Open.
At the age of 20, Canadian Shapovalov has already briefly cracked the world’s top 20, and a 6-4 6-4 victory over Krajinovic saw him pass another major career milestone.
Seeded fourth in Sweden, Shapovalov won four matches without dropping a set, and the left-hander faced only one break point on Sunday.
He edged a narrow opener, helped by nine aces, and grabbed a crucial break in the ninth game of the second set when Krajinovic netted from the baseline.
Shapovalov served out for his first trophy success at main-tour level, with Krajinovic slapping an aggressive backhand into the top of the net on match point.
“We’ve been working really hard to try and lift an ATP title,” said Shapovalov, after thanking his support team. “Now we’re here, so thanks to everybody.”
It was pointed out to him at the trophy presentation that Grigor Dimitrov and Stefanos Tsitsipas – both grand slam semi-finalists this year – won their first tour titles at Stockholm, too.
“It’s definitely a big step for me,” said Shapovalov.
“I’ve struggled to get past the semi-finals and to lift my first title here in Stockholm out of all places. I love this city so much, it’s incredible for me.
“All of the names up there [on the list of past winners] are unbelievable players so hopefully I can back that up as well.”
— Intrum StockholmOpen (@IntrumSthlmOpen) October 20, 2019