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

Comox Valley school district drama students present Xanadu

Venice Beach, California, 1980. An aspiring young artist paints a mural, and… Continue reading

Heart attacks strike husband, wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

Heating up the kitchen

G.P. Vanier hosting North Island Skills Canada Regional Event

Carlos del Junco and the Blues Mongrels return to Courtenay

Eight-time Maple Blues winner Carlos del Junco and his Blues Mongrels return… Continue reading

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Reports of accused human trafficker sighted north of the Comox Valley unsubstantiated

RCMP issue warning about the fears unproven social media reports can generate

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

Most Read