Salem Radio Network News Friday, May 20, 2022

Sports

Tennis-Shapovalov sends Zverev crashing out of Australian Open

By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – 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.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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