Montreal: Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov upset top-seeded Rafael Nadal 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4) in the third round of the Rogers Cup on Thursday night.
The 18-year-old Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ontario, advanced to a quarterfinal meeting Friday night with France’s Adrian Mannarino, who defeated Hyeon Chung of South Korea 6-3, 6-3.
“It’s what I dreamed of all my life growing up, playing guys like Rafa (Nadal), Roger (Federer), Andy (Murray),” Shapovalov said. “You know, my dream came true today.”
Shapovalov has taken major strides this week to reach his goal of cracking the world’s top 100 with wins over Rogerio Dutra Silva and 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro. He also halted Nadal’s bid to regain the No. 1 ranking, which the Spaniard could have achieved by reaching the semifinals.
Shapovalov became the youngest player to reach the tournament’s quarterfinals since Bjorn Borg in 1974. With hockey great Wayne Gretzky and Olympic swimming star Penny Oleksiak cheering for him from the seats, he also became the youngest quarterfinalist at a Masters Series tournament ever and is the youngest to beat a player ranked in the top two in the world since Nadal beat Federer in 2004 in Miami.
“He played well,” Nadal said. “He has a great potential. I wish him the best. He has everything to become a great player. He played with the right determination in the important moments.”