Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Shapovalov Getting Comfortable with Daunting Decision to Turn Professional

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Shapovalov Getting Comfortable with Daunting Decision to Turn Professional

Article excerpt

Tennis prospect Shapovalov overcoming doubts

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Denis Shapovalov's transition to professional tennis hasn't come without its struggles.

An ankle injury suffered last fall while training made the 17-year-old Canadian prospect wonder whether turning pro was the right move. Shapovalov had even entered into the junior tournament at the Australian Open in hopes of getting some more playing time.

But after chatting with his team, it was decided that there wasn't any point in going back to the junior ranks.

"If I commit to pros, I really got to stick to it and I think it was a good decision," Shapovalov said in a phone interview from Ottawa, where he's preparing for this weekend's Davis Cup World Group tie against Britain.

Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., originally decided to jump from juniors to the pros after winning the Wimbledon boys singles title last July. Increased travel demands, however, have resulted in Shapovalov being home for only a few days so far this year.

"Obviously it's tough, missing my parents, family in general but I'm getting used to it," Shapovalov said.

"It's the life and hopefully I'll get some time to go home maybe for a week or a bit to catch up on things."

Shapovalov, currently ranked No. 234 in the world, broke into the spotlight in 2016. Along with the Wimbledon victory, he shocked current world No. 15 Nick Kyrgios in the first round of the Rogers Cup in Toronto and earned a Davis Cup singles victory in his debut against Chile in September.

Shapovalov has carried that momentum into this year and already has a victory over Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France, then ranked No. 76, in the round of 16 at the East Hotel Canberra Challenger in Australia.

The southpaw underwent a coaching switch in the off-season, splitting with Adriano Fuorivia, who he had worked with for over four years. Canadian Davis Cup captain Martin Laurendeau was hired as his replacement. …

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