Shapovalov Reaches Dubai Quarter-finals In 200th Tour-level Match
“I definitely played some great tennis today,” said Shapovalov. “I've struggled against Hurkacz in the past, because he has great weapons and it's definitely not easy to play against him. I've been playing well and took my chances. I was serving well today. I feel mentally fresh and I feel like I'm in great shape. It looks like everything is coming together.”
Third seed Shapovalov played smart tennis and used his left-handed swinging serve to dominate in the first set, which featured one service break. The Canadian returned consistently well in a polished performance, finishing with 26 winners for his first victory in their third ATP Head2Head meeting.
"I feel that I was able to play well yesterday and today," said World No. 12 Shapovalov. "I've put in a lot of good work with Mischa [Mikhail Youzhny] in a training block after the Australian Open, and I do feel confident in my game and how I feel physically. But it's impossible to say when everything will click together. It's never guaranteed, and I am fighting for every point."
Shapovalov will now play Chardy, who scraped past eighth-seeded Russian Karen Khachanov 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and 36 minutes. The World No. 53 has already reached two ATP Tour semi-finals this year at the Antalya Open (l. to Bublik) and the Murray River Open in Melbourne (l. to Evans).
“I am feeling really tired now,” said Chardy. “[It] was a big battle today and very intense. We were both serving really well and we had to be both stay focused. I think I gave everything on the court today. I will fight again as Denis is one of the best on the Tour. He has his whole future in front of him.”
Elsewhere, Japan’s Kei Nishikori struck nine aces to overcome Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 40 minutes for a place in his second straight ATP 500 quarter-final. Two weeks ago he lost to Borna Coric in the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament last eight in Rotterdam.
Nishikori will play Hungary's Marton Fucsovics, who beat No. 11 seed Dusan Lajovic of Serbia 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 in one hour and 47 minutes. Fucsovics also knocked out Lajovic 7-6(3), 6-3 at last week's Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha.