Denis Shapovalov proud of positives from Wimbledon 2021 campaign

Canadian tennis star Denis Shapovalov admits he was disappointed to not get the better of Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon semi-finals.

Denis Shapovalov in a file photo. (Image: Twitter/@TennisCanada)

Canadian tennis star Denis Shapovalov admits he was disappointed to not get the better of Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon semi-finals. However, he also saw plenty of positives emerge from his campaign.

“I think what hurt so much this time was just that I felt like the game is there and it’s possible to go and play for the trophy,” said Shapovalov.

“It’s a feeling I’ve never had before, so that’s why it just hurt so much. I felt like I was outplaying Novak in parts of the match. If you’re outplaying Novak, you can beat anyone. It just hurt a lot.”

Shapovalov also admitted that intensity of his campaign had taken a toll.

“It’s been a long two weeks. It’s been a lot of pressure, a lot of mental fatigue. Like, it all kind of spilled out on the court before I could control myself.”

Shapovalov, though, could see plenty of good things emerge too from his campaign.

He beat two-time champion Andy Murray, 2019 semi-finalist Roberto Bautista Agut and prevailed in a thrilling five set quarter-final with Karen Khachanov.

“For sure there’s a lot of things to be proud for myself. It’s almost good to have a little bit of a taste because it just makes me want it that much more going into the next slams and into the future.”

Denis Shapovalov praises Novak Djokovic

Djokovic had paid Shapovalov warm compliments after he departed Centre Court saying he had been the better player in the second set and the Canadian revealed he had not stopped there.

“He’s (Djokovic) an incredible guy. I don’t think he’s praised enough. Even he came up to me in the locker room, he just said a couple of words.

“For me, it means a lot. He really doesn’t have to.”

Shapovalov will now gear up for the US Open after opting out of the Tokyo Olympics. He admits the decision to pull out of the Games wasn’t easy. However, bio-bubble life caught up with him.

“I’ve been here for a month. Mentally I’m starting to go. It’s not easy mentally for anybody. That was a big part of the decision.

“Obviously I want to play the Olympics, I want to represent my country. It’s a dream for me. But it’s really tough with these restrictions. It puts a lot of pressure on you.

“It’s really tough on the mental. I’m exhausted, not just from the tournament, but from this whole situation, the restrictions. We can’t leave. I mean, it’s not easy for anyone.”




WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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