Canadian young gun Denis Shapovalov has wowed fans with an insane piece of skill straight out of the playbook of the great Roger Federer.
The 19-year-old fought off a late charge by Britain’s Kyle Edmund for a 6-4, 7-5 win in the second round of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.
Shapovalov’s win against the 14th seed came courtesy of some exquisite shot-making, with perhaps none better than his backhand rocket midway through the second set.
The game was evenly poised at deuce when Edmund’s cross-court forehand sent the tall lefty scrambling to his right.
Edmund could not have expected to cop the passing shot he did from the teenager as Shapovalov hit an unstoppable one-handed backhand down the line.
The stunning shot bore plenty of similarities to Federer’s trademark backhand that widely regarded as the best in the business.
Shapovalov jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the set but let Edmund back into the match with a series of unforced errors.
Edmund tied it up at 4-4 but Shapovalov retook the lead, with a fist pump and a triumphant scream after winning the point.
Shapovalov had to labour through five match points before finally dropping a volley over the net well out of Edmund’s reach for the win.
Shapovalov now holds a 4-2 career record against Edmund and is on a potential third round collision course with compatriot Milos Raonic, who faces Malek Jaziri in the second round.
Kyrgios socks it to rival
Nick Kyrgios left the world of tennis stunned with one of the ballsiest plays imaginable, while he was match point down in Cincinnati.
Kyrgios overcame the embarrassment of forgetting his tennis shoes to battle through to the second round of the Cincinnati Open with a three-set victory over American qualifier Denis Kudla.
The Aussie’s thrilling win was typified by an astonishingly brave play on his second serve when he was match point down in the third set tie-breaker.
Rather than play it conservatively, knowing he was a whisker away from exiting the tournament, Kyrgios went for broke in a way only he seems to know how to.
The 23-year-old rifled down a staggering 214km/h second serve ace to leave his opponent, fans and commentators completely gobsmacked.
The Australian 15th seed held up the start of play as he was seen searching his kit bag on court before admitting to officials he hadn’t packed his trainers.
“Wait, what?” Kyrgios could be heard saying on camera as he went through the various compartments of his tennis bag before swearing when he clicked on to what had happened.
After walking around the side of the court in his dark grey socks to find someone who could retrieve his shoes, the embarrassed world No.18 then told his bemused opponent: “I left my tennis shoes in the locker room, sorry man.”
After a tournament aide came to the rescue by retrieving his required footwear, which meant he didn’t have to play in the basketball shoes he walked on to court in, last year’s tournament runner-up wrapped up a nervy 6-7 (7-2) 7-5 7-6 (9-7) victory in one hour and 58 minutes.
Despite his win at the ATP Masters 1000 event, there were concerns for Kygrios, who showed signs of being troubled by injury as he secured a showdown with Croatian Borna Coric, a 6-2 6-3 winner over Russian qualifier Daniil Medvedev.