Shapovalov shoots up the rankings
Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov pulled off another big win, overcoming a slow start to beat 15th-seeded Tomas Berdych 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the first round of the Italian Open yesterday.
Also on the red clay of the Foro Italico, three-time Rome champion Maria Sharapova defeated 16th-seeded Ashleigh Barty 7-5, 3-6, 6-2, defending champion Elina Svitolina routed Petra Martic 6-1, 6-2, and defending French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko eliminated Zhang Shuai 6-2, 7-5.
The 19-year-old Shapovalov is coming off a semifinal appearance in last week's Madrid Open, where he beat fellow Canadian Milos Raonic in the Round of 16.
Already up to a career-high ranking of 29th this week, the victory over Berdych will move Shapovalov ahead of No. 22 Raonic when next week's rankings come out making him the top Canadian.
"It's something I've wanted to work towards for all my life," Shapovalov said. "So, to be able to do that, it's pretty crazy. Hopefully I could lead the country to a Davis Cup victory one day."