Denis Shapovalov of Canada, jubilates winning the Stockholm Open tennis tournament men’s single final at the Royal Tennis Hall in Stockholm, Sweden, Sunday Oct. 20, 2019. (Henrik Montgomery / TT via AP)

Canadian Shapovalov captures Stockholm Open for first ATP Tour title

The Canadian was ranked No. 34 in the world prior to this week’s action

Canadian Denis Shapovalov has his first ATP Tour title.

The fourth-seeded Shapovalov, of Richmond Hill, Ont., captured the Stockholm Open on Sunday with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Serbian Filip Krajinovic.

“I think it’s a big step to win my first title,” he said. “Honestly, I think the most important thing for me is just to keep improving my game.”

Not only was it Shapovalov’s first ATP title but he becomes the first Canadian Tour winner since Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., in Brisbane in January 2016.

It marked the first time Shapovalov had ever faced the No. 60-ranked Krajinovic.

The Canadian was ranked No. 34 in the world prior to this week’s action but will crack the top-30 with this result for the first time since July. In April, Shapovalov jumped to a career-best 20th in the world rankings from No. 23 after reaching the semifinals of the Miami Open.

View this post on Instagram

We did it ❤️ Thanks for always believing in me 🏆

A post shared by Denis Shapovalov (@denis.shapovalov) on

“I was No. 20 in the world but I’m not concerned about getting back to that ranking,” he said. “I’m really happy with this week.

“I’m just going to try to take it one week at a time.”

This tournament was also a breakthrough for Shapovalov, who’d been 0-7 in semifinals before beating Yuichi Sugita on Saturday to advance to the final. And despite the victory, Shapovalov said he’s far from being a finished product.

“There’s a lot to improve,” he said. “I think there’s still a lot, not gaps, but areas where I can get better.

“I can definitely get (cleaner) at the net, improve my returns, improve my movements. There’s many things I can get better (at) that will help me for the future.”

Shapovalov didn’t drop a set en route to becoming the first Canadian champion in this event.

“This tournament started the year my mom was born, so it has got a great history and it is amazing to be the first Canadian to win it,” he said. “I’ve seen all the amazing names up on the board, so it will be nice to see my name up there as well.”

A Krajinovic double fault at 1-1 gave Shapovalov the crucial service break in the first set. The Canadian finished the opening set by converting on his third set point.

Shapovalov earned his second break to go ahead 5-4 in the second set. He closed out the match on his first championship point.

“I told myself as long as I keep taking care of my serve I will be okay,” said Shapovalov. “In the second set, it was a little bit tough.

“I had a lot of deuce games on his serve and I wasn’t able to convert. I just kept fighting and stayed patient. Sooner or later I was able to get the break.”

Shapovalov also denied Krajinovic his first ATP Tour title.

“He was the better player today, for sure, he played really well,” said Krajinovic. “It was a great week for me, I keep going and I have to work.”

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

OBITUARY: Sherrold Haddad brought giant Canadian flag to Surrey car dealership, built community

‘An amazing man, business person and community leader,’ friend Bruce Hayne posted to Facebook

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and beyond

MARCH 28: Delta council passes bylaw to fine people who don’t socially distance

White Rock council members stand by decision to close pier

Minimal push-back over closure to minimize chance of spreading COVID-19 virus

From lockdown in Italy to self-isolation in South Surrey

Like many returning citizens, Peninsula-raised James Bogart & Emily Schenk have a long journey ahead

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Blue ribbons popping up along streets in Abbotsford in praise of B.C. healthcare workers

Healthcare worker’s family starts local trend of morale support

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

Most Read

l -->