Denis Shapovalov will take to the main Arthur Ashe Court on Sunday as he looks to book his place in the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows.
The 18-year-old, who was born in Tel Aviv, is participating in his first US Open – having made just one previous Grand Slam appearance at Wimbledon earlier this year, where he was knocked out in the first round.
Facing Kyle Edmund in the fourth round, Shapovalov was leading 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, before the Brit was forced to retire in the fourth set, having lost the first game. For Shapovalov, the win was just the continuation of a ‘life-changing month for him’. He said: “There’s definitely a sense of “wow, is this a dream? When will I wake up?”
“The month of August has been absolutely life changing for me, and, yeah, you know, I’m actually very thankful for my team for helping me stay humble and just prepare for every match, like it’s another match, but I feel like after the Open, I’m going to have a little bit of time to take it all in, everything that’s been happening to me. And, yeah, you know, I’m playing great tennis and I’m just trying to take it one day at a time.”
His parents are both from Russia, with his mum moving to Israel as her coach moved there. Playing tennis in the country and starting her coaching career there, his dad moved to Israel with her, where they stayed for 12 years. Following his – and his brother’s – birth, the family moved to Canada, when Denis was 9 months old.
Speaking about what the experience is like for him, he said: “It’s huge. Yeah, there is a lot of new experiences, but, yeah, I mean, like I’m saying, everything kind of happens too quickly. My team kind of makes me focus one match at a time.
“I don’t really have time to take in everything that I have done, but I’m sure at the end of the year when I look back, you know, I’ll really have time to see how far I have come in one year.”
He next takes on the 12th seed, Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta, first on the Arthur Ashe Court on Sunday.