Shapovalov Sets Up Geneva Final Against Ruud
Shapovalov is into this third tour-level final after winning the Stockholm Open and losing in the Rolex Paris Masters final in 2019. The World No. 14 improves to a 2-10 record in semi-finals. His most recent semi-final was a third-set tie-break loss to Lloyd Harris in Dubai.
Cuevas was appearing in his 22nd semi-final overall and first since Estoril in 2019 and has now lost nine straight matches to Top 15 opponents.
In Saturday's final, Shapovalov and Ruud will be meeting for the first time.
“Denis has also been playing very good on the surface recently and took [Rafael] Nadal to his knees last week in Rome and had match points,” Ruud said. “And I was watching the match. He was playing very well and has been playing well here as well.”
"I know Casper very well," Shapovalov said. "We played in the juniors together and we go way back. He's improved a lot. He's playing at a really high level the past couple of weeks, the past couple of months. So it's going to be a fun battle tomorrow."
Shapovalov held two match points against Nadal in Rome’s third round, eventually falling to the World No. 3 in a third-set tie-break. He bounced back this week with wins over Marco Cecchinato, Laslo Djere and now Cuevas.
"I definitely played a really high level in Rome and all my matches," Shapovalov said. "And even though I didn't get the win against Rafa, I was playing at his level and and I'm playing some really good tennis, so I just tried to take the positives from that match and just keep going forward."
On Friday, Shapovalov stayed patient and stepped his game up at just the right moments, breaking for 5-4 in the first set and 6-5 in the second. The Canadian was still aggressive off both wings, ripping multiple winners with his one-handed backhand and hitting eight aces.
"I do enjoy faster tennis, but [clay] is not really just an adjustment, I just have to be a little bit more patient and play a little bit safer or smarter perhaps," Shapovalov said. "You have to actually almost like play chess and and construct the points."