Denis Shapovalov upset an out-of-sorts Alexander Zverev 6-3 7-6(5) 6-3 in broiling heat to reach his first Australian Open quarter-final on Sunday.
The Canadian lefthander was magnificent against the German third seed, earning one of his biggest career victories at Margaret Court Arena.
Shapovalov blew a match point with a wild forehand into the tramlines but wrapped up the contest when Zverev netted under pressure.
“Definitely happy with where the game is at,” said the ecstatic 22-year-old, long tipped for success at the Grand Slams. “I think off the ground I was just really playing very well, really feeling my shots off both wings.”
The 14th seed will meet Rafa Nadal for a place in the semi-finals.
“It’s always an honour to go up against a guy like Rafa,” Shapovalov said of the Spanish great, who is bidding for a record 21st Grand Slam title.
“It’s always going to be a battle against him. It’s going to be a tough one but I’m going to enjoy it.”
It was a disappointing exit for Zverev, who was bundled out of the quarter-finals by Novak Djokovic last year.
Late last year Zverev suggested he and Russian Daniil Medvedev might become part of a new ‘Big Three’ with world number one Djokovic in the 2022 season.
Nadal beats Mannarino in battle of left-handers to reach last eight
Rafa Nadal remained on course for a men’s record 21st Grand Slam title after winning a battle of left-handers against Adrian Mannarino 7-6(14) 6-2 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Sunday.
The only former champion left in the men’s draw, 2009 winner Nadal is tied on 20 majors with injured Roger Federer and nine-times Melbourne Park winner Novak Djokovic, who was deported from Australia before the tournament began.
Mannarino had lost both his previous meetings against Nadal and came into the contest after a demanding third-round victory over Russian Aslan Karatsev in a match that lasted four hours and 39 minutes.
And after an intense opening set, which included a 30-point tiebreaker and lasted 81 minutes, the 69th-ranked Frenchman wilted under the blazing afternoon sun at the Rod Laver Arena as Nadal sealed the win with an ace on his first match point.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.