Denis Shapovalov causes major discomfort, knocks out Alexander Zverev

Germany’s racket-smashing third seed Alexander Zverev was knocked out in the fourth round of the Australian Open on Sunday by Canada’s 14th seed Denis Shapovalov. Shapovalov defeated the Tokyo Olympic champion 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 in 2 hours and 21 minutes at the Margaret Court Arena and will now face 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals. He leaves Zverev, 24, still chasing the first major title.

Shapovalov, 22, said after his tough match schedule to reach the round of 16, “I probably expected him to finish at least three sets.”

“I felt like things were going my way early, lost a bit of momentum in the second set, but gave a good fight to come back and roll with it from there.”

This will be Shapovalov’s first quarter-final at the Australian Open.

Zverev, the runner-up of the 2020 US Open, never looked down on Shapovalov and vented his frustration when he broke his racket in anger after a service break.

Zverev’s task became more difficult when he lost the decisive second set tiebreak after leaving the opening set. Germany committed eight double faults.

Shapovalov, who has won just one of his four matches against Nadal, said: “It’s always an honor to play with someone like Rafa, there will always be fights, it will be difficult but I will definitely enjoy it.”

Shapovalov reached the semifinals at Wimbledon last year, where he lost to Novak Djokovic.

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