Denis Shapovalov revealed that Novak Djokovic had consoled him after the difficult semifinal loss at Wimbledon.
Playing his first Grand Slam semifinal, Shapovalov fell just short on important points as he went down 6-7 (3), 5-7, 5-7 to World No 1 Djokovic on Friday.
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“He just told me he knows how difficult it is for me right now,” Shapovalov said.
The 22-year-old failed to convert 10 of the 11 break points he earned but went toe-to-toe with the best player in the world for nearly three hours.
A sterling effort in just his 10th singles match at #Wimbledon
No doubt we'll be seeing plenty more of @denis_shapo on this stage in the future… pic.twitter.com/TnMlEIBAtf
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 9, 2021
“He told me that everything will come. For me, it’s big coming from someone like him. He doesn’t have to do this. It just shows the type of person he is. He isn’t praised enough.
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“I have tremendous respect for him. He’s definitely for sure one of the greatest players of all time.”
Djokovic is now one win away from tying the record for most number of Grand Slams (20), held by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
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“It would mean everything,” said Djokovic, who will play Matteo Berrettini for the trophy.
“That’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m playing. I imagined myself being in a position to fight for another Grand Slam trophy prior to coming to London. I put myself in a very good position.
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“Anything is possible in the final. Obviously experience is on my side. But Berrettini has been winning a lot of matches on grass courts…He’s in great form. He’s serving big, playing big.”
The Serb has won the first two majors of the year — the Australian Open and the French Open. If he does beat Matteo Berrettini in Sunday’s final, Djokovic will become the first player since Rod Laver in 1969 to win the first three Grand Slams of the year.
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Laver had gone on to clinch his second Grand Slam in 1969.