Denis Shapovalov’s grass-court game is clicking at exactly the right time.
The Canadian advanced to his first quarter-final at Wimbledon with another impressive win over a strong player on the surface, eighth seed Roberto Bautista Agut, in straight sets on the final Manic Monday at the All-England Club.
He is through to his second career Grand Slam quarter-final, after having reached the last eight at last year’s US Open.
Shapovalov, the 10th seed at Wimbledon this year, was the dominant player from start to finish, opening the match with a break and never looking back, powering to a 6-1, 6-3, 7-5 victory.
The win over the 2019 semi-finalist came three days after Shapovalov won his Centre Court debut over two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, also in straight sets.
While his serve consistency left something to be desired, the Canadian won 77 percent of his first serve points and struck 15 aces, although he also had eight double faults. Shapovalov also hit 52 winners to Bautista Agut’s 14.
The first set was one-way traffic for the Canadian, who broke twice out of the gate on his way to a 4-0 lead.
Shapovalov was in complete control of the rallies, spreading the ball around the court beautifully and even successfully pulling off a tweener. The only threat he faced came in the form of three break points in the second game, all of which he saved.
He broke serve for a third time in the set to wrap it up 6-1, fittingly clinching it with a forehand winner.
Play levelled out a in the second set as Bautista Agut started to find his way into the match. The Spaniard had the majority of the chances midway through the set, with break points at 2-2 and 3-3.
However, Shapovalov was not about to let the match slip away. He saved all five break points in those two games, including coming back from love-40 down in the seventh game, and responded with a break of his own to take a 5-3 lead when Bautista Agut fired a forehand long.
The Canadian promptly served out the set to love for a two-set lead.
The third set started off with four consecutive breaks of serve before each man held for 3-all.
As a tiebreak loomed at 5-5, Shapovalov struck, converting his second break point of the game with a huge backhand winner to go up 6-5. That break was enough as he held in the following game to advance to his second career Grand Slam quarter-final, his first at Wimbledon.
Shapovalov will look to reach his first career major semi-final when he takes on 25th seed Karen Khachanov on Wednesday. The Canadian won their lone previous meeting on quick indoor hard courts at the 2019 Davis Cup Finals in Madrid.