World news – CA – ATP Rome: Denis Shapovalov downs Grigor Dimitrov to grab milestone victory


The 21-year-old Denis Shapovalov is still undefeated in the Masters 1000 quarter-finals, increasing his streak to 5-0. At Foro Italico in Rome, Denis defeated Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 in an hour and 50 minutes, advancing into the fifth Masters 1000 semi-final and securing the milestone 100th ATP victory.

It was the first win for the Canadian over the Bulgarian, earning it after scoring five breaks and suffering only two. Denis had the upper hand with his first serve, delivering more efficient numbers to leave the rival behind and set the clash against Diego Schwartzman, who ousted Rafael Nadal.

If he beats the Argentine on Sunday, Shapovalov will crack the top-10 for the first time, making a slow start of the season but raising his level at the US Open and Rome. Dimitrov made a quick hold at 15 in the first game with a service winner, followed by a hold at love for Shapovalov, who added his name to the scoreboard.

Grigor netted a backhand in the third game to suffer a break at 15, allowing Denis to cement the lead with a service winner. Dimitrov brought the fifth game home at love to keep fighting before netting an easy forehand a few minutes later that sent Shapovalov 4-2 in front.

Denis secured another break in game seven following a deep return, holding at 15 a few minutes later to close the opener 6-2 in 31 minutes. Both players held after deuce at the beginning of the second set, with Dimitrov fending off a break chance in game three with a service winner, closing it when Denis netted a backhand.

Shapovalov hit a double fault in the fourth game to suffer a break, pulling it back immediately after Grigor’s forehand error. A serve & volley combo brought Denis back to 3-3 before Dimitrov rattled off three straight games to secure the set.

Grigor clinched a break in game eight and held with a service winner to wrap up the set and force a decider. Starting all over, Denis fired four service winners at the beginning of the final set, earning a break after a double fault from the Bulgarian and opening a crucial 3-0 advantage.

Dimitrov claimed the fourth game at love but couldn’t do much on the return, as Shapovalov held at 15 to open a 4-1 gap. Another hold at love kept the more experienced player in but Shapovalov wasn’t to be denied, bringing the seventh game home at 15 to move 5-2 in front.

Serving to stay in the encounter, Grigor lost serve in game eight to propel the youngster over the top, finishing his journey in the quarters.


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