Five Things We Learned From Montreal
We look into storylines that emerged from the sixth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament of 2017
1. IT AIN'T OVER TILL IT'S OVER
Is there something in the Montreal water? In three matches this week at the Coupe Rogers, a player saved not one, not two and not three but four match points.
Canadian Denis Shapovalov and Diego Schwartzman of Argentina started the match point madness on Tuesday. The #NextGenATP Shapovalov erased four match points to escape Brazilian veteran Rogerio Dutra Silva 4-6, 7-6(8), 6-4.
Schwartzman saved his tournament four times in an upset bid against third-seeded Dominic Thiem, winning 6-4, 6-7(7), 7-5. Frenchman Gael Monfils' followed their lead in taking out another high seed – fifth seed Kei Nishikori – 6-7(4), 7-5, 7-6(6).
2. WATCH OUT FOR SHAPOVALOV
Canada has unearthed a gem. Shapovalov's inspiring run to the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament in Montreal – and his energetic brand of play – endeared him to millions of Canadian tennis fans and tennis enthusiasts around the globe.
He also put the ATP World Tour on notice. The 18-year-old lefty knocked out established players all week, including Juan Martin del Potro, World No. 2 Rafael Nadal and Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, who reached the fourth round of Wimbledon last month.
Shapovalov, who set a goal of reaching the Top 150 at the start of the year, has shattered that mark. On Monday, he'll be No. 67 in the Emirates ATP Rankings and is in good position to make the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, to be held 7-11 November. By becoming the youngest Masters 1000 semi-finalist (since 1990), Shapovalov will rise to fourth place in the Emirates ATP Race to Milan, which will determine seven of the eight 21-and-under players who compete at the inaugural tournament.
3. KYRGIOS AT HIS BEST WHEN HE'S RELAXED
Australian Nick Kyrgios is box office. With an ability to beat the world’s best, his languid style and character are fan favourites as evidenced by his ‘horsey’ antics with Matt Reid and his offer of hitting with a Twitter fan in Montreal. Read More
The Aussie backed up his laid-back style with wins on the court this week as well. Kyrgios breezed past Serbia's Viktor Troicki and Paolo Lorenzi of Italy, dropping only eight games in the four sets. In the quarter-finals, Kyrgios fell 6-4, 6-3 to eventual champion Zverev.
4. THE FUTURE IS NOW
As if we needed any confirmation, the Coupe Rogers proved that Zverev, at 20, is already a dominant force in the game. He claimed a second consecutive Masters 1000 title (Rome), becoming the first player outside the “Big Four” to win multiple Masters 1000 crowns in the same season since David Nalbandian 10 years ago.
Zverev did it by beating the best – Roger Federer hadn't fallen in a final this season. Zverev has now won five ATP World Tour titles this year, tying Federer atop the leaderboard. The #NextGenATP German has also reeled off 10 consecutive victories, dating back to his title run last week at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C.
5. FRENCHMEN MAKE HISTORY
What happens in Rome, happens in Montreal? It did this year. Zverev backed up his title, as did Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut in doubles, beating Rohan Bopanna and Ivan Dodig 6-4, 3-6, 10-6 for their second Masters 1000 crown of the season.
The pair became the first French team in the Open Era to win a Canadian title and improved to 5-1 in Masters 1000 finals together. They also ended a finals drought: Herbert/Mahut hadn't played for a trophy since the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in the Italian capital.