Rising Canadian star Denis Shapovalov has admitted that it was “super tough” against Karen Khachanov at Wimbledon.
Shapovalov, ranked at No. 12 in the world, edged out Khachanov in five sets 6-4 3-6 5-7 6-1 6-4 to reach his maiden Grand Slam semifinal.
Next up for Shapovalov will be Novak Djokovic, who beat Marton Fucsovics in the Wimbledon quarterfinal.
“It was definitely super tough, especially in the fifth set, having 0/40 and not converting. Then having the craziest game of my life, being able to win that was massive,” Shapovalov said. “I was in a similar position at the US Open last year in the quarter-finals, and I thought I started the fifth set a little slow, so I told myself just play every single point as hard as you can, and a bit of luck was on my side.
“He [Djokovic] is the best player in the world, but when you look at the scoreboard, the first thing on Friday, it is going to be level. I have full belief in me and my team, anything is possible.”
Shapovalov earned a tight win over Khachanov
Shapovalov saved four break points in the sixth game, before breaking Khachanov in the ninth game for a 5-4 lead.
After claiming the first break of the match, Shapovalov routinely served out for the opener in the 10th game.
After losing the first set, Khachanov started the second set with a 4-0 lead, before serving out for the set in the ninth game.
Khachanov then broke Shapovalov in the 11th game of the third set, before serving for a two-one lead a game later.
The two players were tied at one game apiece after the opening two games of the fourth set but Shapovalov then claimed back-to-back breaks and won five games in a row to force a fifth set.
Shapovalov then broke Khachanov in the ninth game of the fifth set, before serving out for the match a game later.