Young left-handed Canadian talent of Russian-Ukrainian origin Denis Shapovalov (*1999 / CAN) who was born in Tel-Aviv in Israel and declares Nassau in the Bahamas as his residency came to the spotlights in 2017. First, it was with his sudden anger outburst during the February Davis Cup match of Team Canada against Great Britain when a ball fired from his racket after a lost point seriously injured the French chair-umpire in the eye area and caused him such a significant injury that a reparative surgery was necessary. Later in 2017, Denis continued on a more positive note when he defeated in a dramatic 3-set match the big Rafael Nadal (ESP) during the Canadian Open in Montreal where he subsequently made it all the way to the semifinals. Shapovalov then backed up that result at the US.Open a few days later as he was able to win 6 consecutive matches (3 in the qualification and 3 in the main draw) there before falling to Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) in the round of the last 16. Mainly at these two tournaments, Denis showed why he is being considered as one of the biggest young talents of the tennis world. After these highlights, which were followed by two won matches in the Davis Cup play-off against India, the rest of 2017 was rather uneventful as Denis was able to win just one more match on the ATP Tour level only.
Shapovalov who is currently (January 15, 2018) ranked as ATP #50 was able to capture 4 Features and 2 Challenger level titles among men so far, the biggest title ever won by him was the singles crown at the 2016 Junior Wimbledon. He lists his mom Tessa, who also tried the tennis tour in the 90’s a bit, as one of his coaches besides the Canadian Davis Cup captain Martin Laurendeau who took over his coaching in 2017. Besides quite solid technique and almost an ideal tennis body, huge dynamic power and high intensity can be considered as Denis’ biggest assets. From the strokes, the service belongs to one of Shapovalov’s strengths, but small improvements (part of the Tennis 3.0 Code seems to be missing) could probably make this leftie service to an even more of a constant weapon. Needless to say, already now, his service stats are better than the ones of the fellow rising stars of Russian origin Alexander Zverev (GER) and Andrey Rublev (RUS), which are both 2 yours older than Denis and ranked higher. Below, I am showing some of Denis’ services at both the 2017 French and the 2017 US.Open. The opening of the racket face on its way to the cocking position (waiter’s palm/tray) and quite a big glenohumeral angle (should be under 120° to reduce the risk of the rotator cuff problems) during the impact are in my personal opinion certain risk factors, which could increase the risk of a potential injury and which might also partly limit the optimal form of the targeted pronation and exact unloading.
This article covers certain aspects of Denis Shapovalov’s service and service in general only! Further photos, more details (including improvement possibilities) about his service and other strokes as well as about the strokes of other players are available upon request at drmgb11(at)gmail.com. Some significant details of this kind, necessary for a top tennis performance as well as for a sustainable tennis training/development in general, are being discussed also in the seminar “TENNIS 3.0 – Future of the Game”, which is available worldwide upon request – www.tennis30.com / www.tennis30.cz
Photos (May 2017 & August 2017) & text (January 2018) copyright by Dr. Martin G. Baroch. Any further publication of either any of the photos and/or texts with the explicit written permission from the author/copyright owner only!!