Denis Shapovalov of Canada, jubilates winning the Stockholm Open tennis tournament men’s single final at the Royal Tennis Hall in Stockholm, Sweden, Sunday Oct. 20, 2019. (Henrik Montgomery / TT via AP)

Canadian Shapovalov captures Stockholm Open for first ATP Tour title

The Canadian was ranked No. 34 in the world prior to this week’s action

Canadian Denis Shapovalov has his first ATP Tour title.

The fourth-seeded Shapovalov, of Richmond Hill, Ont., captured the Stockholm Open on Sunday with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Serbian Filip Krajinovic.

“I think it’s a big step to win my first title,” he said. “Honestly, I think the most important thing for me is just to keep improving my game.”

Not only was it Shapovalov’s first ATP title but he becomes the first Canadian Tour winner since Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., in Brisbane in January 2016.

It marked the first time Shapovalov had ever faced the No. 60-ranked Krajinovic.

The Canadian was ranked No. 34 in the world prior to this week’s action but will crack the top-30 with this result for the first time since July. In April, Shapovalov jumped to a career-best 20th in the world rankings from No. 23 after reaching the semifinals of the Miami Open.

View this post on Instagram

We did it ❤️ Thanks for always believing in me 🏆

A post shared by Denis Shapovalov (@denis.shapovalov) on

“I was No. 20 in the world but I’m not concerned about getting back to that ranking,” he said. “I’m really happy with this week.

“I’m just going to try to take it one week at a time.”

This tournament was also a breakthrough for Shapovalov, who’d been 0-7 in semifinals before beating Yuichi Sugita on Saturday to advance to the final. And despite the victory, Shapovalov said he’s far from being a finished product.

“There’s a lot to improve,” he said. “I think there’s still a lot, not gaps, but areas where I can get better.

“I can definitely get (cleaner) at the net, improve my returns, improve my movements. There’s many things I can get better (at) that will help me for the future.”

Shapovalov didn’t drop a set en route to becoming the first Canadian champion in this event.

“This tournament started the year my mom was born, so it has got a great history and it is amazing to be the first Canadian to win it,” he said. “I’ve seen all the amazing names up on the board, so it will be nice to see my name up there as well.”

A Krajinovic double fault at 1-1 gave Shapovalov the crucial service break in the first set. The Canadian finished the opening set by converting on his third set point.

Shapovalov earned his second break to go ahead 5-4 in the second set. He closed out the match on his first championship point.

“I told myself as long as I keep taking care of my serve I will be okay,” said Shapovalov. “In the second set, it was a little bit tough.

“I had a lot of deuce games on his serve and I wasn’t able to convert. I just kept fighting and stayed patient. Sooner or later I was able to get the break.”

Shapovalov also denied Krajinovic his first ATP Tour title.

“He was the better player today, for sure, he played really well,” said Krajinovic. “It was a great week for me, I keep going and I have to work.”

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Plans in place for a different kind of graduation this year at Wm E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus

“They deserve to be celebrated for this milestone in their education.”

$2 raise for some health care workers in Alberta over a month late

Delay isn’t from Alberta Health, spokesperson confirms

Thanks to the wonders of a 3-D printer, staff at the Stettler Library have been able to produce ‘ear savers’ for medical masks

Looking ahead, re-opening is tentatively slated for June 19th if all goes according to plan

Wind warning issued for central Alberta

City of Red Deer and Lacombe under wind warning

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of the world of summer sports

In a typical year, there are plenty of summer sporting events and tournaments held across Canada

SpaceX’s historic encore: Astronauts arrive at space station

SpaceX Dragon capsule pulled up to the station and docked automatically

Ottawa pledges millions to promote holiday travel in Canada during pandemic

Funding announced include $30 million originally earmarked for attracting foreign visitors

Sweats are in, slacks are out: Could ‘work-leisure’ become business as usual?

Many desk-dwellers are opting for sweatpants as work-from-home era has loosened up dress codes

Minimum wage goes up June 1 in B.C. as businesses face COVID-19 challenges

Increase is part of the government’s pledge to implement a $15 per hour minimum wage

In hard-hit Quebec, families struggle to mourn those lost to COVID-19

The province recorded more than 50,000 confirmed cases and over 4,300 deaths as of Friday

Most Read