After dumping world number one Andy Murray from the recent Indian Wells Masters, Canada’s Vasek Pospisil might have seen last week’s ATP Jalisco Open in Guadalajara as a great chance to secure his first tournament victory of 2017.
However, it was a another Canadian, Denis Shapovalov, an up-and-coming teenager on a 17-match winning streak, who caught everyone’s attention.
By chance, the two Canadians were drawn together in the second round, with the 17-year-old easily overpowering Pospisil – nine years his senor – in two sets.
Shapovalov, who will turn 18 later this month, managed to battle his way through to Sunday’s final, only to fall at the final hurdle to Bosnia’s Mirza Basic.
Prior to the tournament, Shapovalov, the 2016 Wimbledon junior singles champion, was ranked higher (194th) than Basic (214th) in the world standings. But the 25-year-old Bosnian showed more composure and made fewer enforced errors in a 6-4, 6-4 win on the center court of Guadalajara’s Centro Panamericano de Tenis.
Last month, Shapovalov captured his fourth ITF Futures singles title at a tournament in Gatineau, Canada. Two weeks later, he won his first ATP Challenger title in Drummondville – becoming the youngest Canadian to win a Challenger event.
His loss to Basic ended a 17-match winning streak.
The only blemish in Shapovalov’s career to date was in February, after he was selected to play for the Canadian Davis Cup team in the World Group 1st round tie against Great Britain. In the deciding rubber against Kyle Edmund, he hit the match umpire, Arnaud Gabas, in the eye after launching a ball aimlessly towards the crowd in anger after dropping serve in the opening stages of the third set, defaulting the match and tie as a consequence.