World No. 18 Denis Shapovalov showed his class after losing the Stockholm Open final as he said Tommy Paul deserved to win his maiden ATP title.
Paul, ranked at No. 52 in the world, surprised third-seeded.Shapovalov 6-4 2-6 6-4 in the Stockholm Open final to win his first ATP title.
En route to winning Stockholm, Paul also bet Leo Borg, Taylor Fritz, Andy Murray and Frances Tiafoe.
“Tommy played unbelievably all week, so it was just a matter of time before he lifted a trophy,” said Shapovalov, per the ATP website. “I’ve had a great season with two finals [also Gonet Geneva Open], so I hope to keep working my way up the [FedEx ATP] Rankings next year.”
Shapovalov expected a ‘fun’ matchup
After beating Felix Auger-Aliassime in the Stockholm semifinal, Shapovalov said he expected a fun battle versus Paul.
“It’s crazy that it’s our first meeting ever,” said Shapovalov. “We grew up in juniors together, he was a couple of years older. I am a big fan of his game and it was only a matter of time before he came up with a week like this. We’re big shot-makers, so it should be fun.”
Paul pressured Shapovalov early on but the Canadian saved two consecutive break points in the opening game of the match.
Paul didn’t convert his first break points in the opening game but broke Shapovalov in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead, before routinely serving out for the opener in the 10th game.
Shapovalov saved a break point in the opening game of the second set, before claimed his first break of the match in the second game.
Shapovalov saved three more break points in the fifth game and two more in the seventh game before breaking Paul in the seventh game to force a decider.
In the decider, Paul claimed the lone break of the set in the ninth game and served out for the match in the 10th game.