which has a lefty forehand in which crackles like a campfire, a stunning one-hand backhand in addition to a backward baseball cap in which dips to just above his eyebrows, Denis Shapovalov is actually a stirring reminder of the swaggering, swashbuckling days of Andre Agassi.
Shapovalov, 21, of Canada pumps his fist in addition to bellows when he wins points, as he did when he upset David Goffin, who was ranked No. 10 at the time, to reach the quarterfinals of the United States Open in September, his best result at a major. This kind of was enough to propel him into the entire world’s top 10 for once.
He followed in which up by reaching the semifinals at the Italian Open in addition to the semifinals of the ATP tournament in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he beat Stan Wawrinka before losing to Andrey Rublev.
A little over a year ago, Shapovalov was ranked outside the top 30, although then hired the former pro Mikhail Youzhny as his traveling coach. By the end of 2019, Shapovalov had won his first tour title in Stockholm in addition to reached the final at the Paris Masters, before losing to Novak Djokovic.
Shapovalov also sings. He serenaded the crowd with his rap music after a match at the BNP Paribas Open in 2019. Just before This kind of year’s U.S. Open, he debuted his rap song, “Night Train,” with the help of the fellow pro Corentin Moutet.
The following conversation has been edited in addition to condensed.
How did all This kind of rap stuff start, in addition to who’s your rap influence?
My rap influence is actually G-Eazy. I’ve been listening to his music for years. During the lockdown I had time to write some lyrics in addition to put together some songs.
In both “Night Train” in addition to your various other song, “Drip,” you speak of everybody wanting to be like you. So, what’s This kind of like to be you?
[Laughing] in which’s just a little flexing, or whatever, like in rap. although I feel like I’ve got a lot of fans in which love me. People dress like me, grow their hair out, imitate my walk. from the beginning I was like, “What’s going on? Why are they copying me?” although This kind of’s pretty cool.
You’re pretty creative in addition to energetic on the court. is actually there a blur between playing tennis in addition to entertaining?
Honestly, This kind of comes together. Off court, I’m definitely laid back, although on the court I’m definitely not chill. I like to roar, like a wolf. When I’m on court, I want to beat the various other player, show him my teeth. I’ve been working a lot with my psychologist to mature into in which wolf. in which’s exactly who I try to be every time I step on the court.
Your mother coached you coming from the beginning, the same way Andy Murray’s mother did. What does she bring to the table?
She put a racket in my hand, knows my game as not bad as me, if not better. in addition to she always keeps me levelheaded in addition to puts me right back in my place when I’m not feeling not bad.
Three years ago, when you were just 18, you beat Rafael Nadal to reach the semifinals at the Canadian Open, your home tournament. What was in which like?
I was staying with Felix [Auger-Aliassime] at his house, in addition to I woke up the morning of the match in addition to there was a poster of Rafa right there. I made a joke in addition to said, “This kind of’s gotta go.” When I came home after the match Felix had taken This kind of off the wall. A little bit of bromance began right there.
You had your best week in Paris last year. What happened to pull everything together for you?
When I started off working with Mikhail we had conversations not just about tennis although about life. He helped me clear my head, enjoy the game in addition to focus. I felt like I was playing well, although I had some tough losses in addition to some tough draws. Then I went to Stockholm, in addition to in which’s where I felt like I peaked. I carried in which through to Paris.
If you could have any rapper in your player box to watch you play the final of the U.S. Open one day, who might This kind of be?
I think G-Eazy. He might be a cool guy to have in your box. He’d be chill; he’d play This kind of cool.