January 23, 2022
Denis Shapovalov shocked Sascha Zverev with a dazzling super-show at the Australian Open.
The young Canadian reduced the German to a racquet-smashing wreck as he established his superiority.
Zverev called it one of the worst performances of his career and he certainly failed to make the expected impression.
The world number three has still never won a Grand Slam.
Perhaps Zverev can break that duck at Wimbledon 2022. His big-serving game should translate well onto grass this year.
But he was caught cold in Melbourne. Shapovalov returned superbly and mounted one aggressive attack after another.
The North American seemed completely uninhibited by the mounting pressure of a Grand Slam tournament.
In stark contrast Zverev seemed to have the weight of the world on his shoulders once more.
It was all over much sooner that we had anticipated as Shapovalov won through 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3.
And before we knew it, the Canadian hot-shot was looking forward to a massive match-up against Rafael Nadal.
Rafa has been leaving us completely breathless for days.
But a 28-minute tie-break against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino surpassed even Nadal’s incredible tournament so far.
The gutsy Spaniard saved four set points before claiming that opening-set breaker 16-14.
The experience seemed to break Mannarino physically and mentally and he quickly succumbed 6-2, 6-2 from there.
Nadal admitted afterwards: ‘I was a little bit lucky at the end of the tiebreaker, I had my chances but then he had a lot of chances too.
‘That crazy first set was so important and the service break at the beginning of the second set too.’
Rafa may need to seize control a little more quickly against the carefree Shapovalov or he could come up against more sustained resistance.
Denis Shapovalov once won Junior Wimbledon but he has never come close to winning a men’s Slam – until now.
Is this his year? He ceertainly isn’t scared of playing the legendary Nadal in Melbourne.
Denis said: ‘It’s always an honour to go up against a guy like Rafa. It’s always going to be a battle against him. It’s going to be a tough one but I’m going to enjoy it.’
And we’ll enjoy welcoming Nadal and Shapovalov to Wimbledon 2022!
Women’s champion Ashleigh Barty will be there too. And she is sure to prove as popular as ever..
And in the next week she will set her sights on winning her home Slam.
Barty came up against no major problems as she brushed aside Amanda Anisimova 6-4, 6-3.
Now she takes on impressive American Jessica Pegula for a place in the semi-finals.
Who would bet against the queen of Wimbledon now?
We hope you will join us at Wimbledon 2022 to see if her amazing consistency continues.