NEW YORK – Canadian Denis Shapovalov appeared older than his 18 years at the US Open on Wednesday, staying poised to beat eighth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4 6-4 7-6(3) and advancing to the third round.
Shapovalov, who had to qualify for the main draw, rose his hands in triumph after the television review showed that Tsonga’s final shot had sailed past the baseline.
“It’s a dream come true for me,” he said during an on-court interview. “I’ve always dreamed of playing a night match on Arthur Ashe.”
Shapovalov had got off to a good start breaking the 32-year-old Tsonga to love in the opening game, and the only sign of nerves came in the third set when he was broken while serving for the match before he rebounded in the tie-break.
“Serving for the third set I got a little bit tight, stopped moving my feet on a couple shots, sailed some forehands,” he said. “I just stayed calm and just waited for my next chance and took it.”
Shapovalov surprised the tennis world earlier this month with a run to the semi-finals in Montreal, which included a win over current world number one Rafa Nadal.
The left-hander faces Britain’s Kyle Edmund, who defeated American Steve Johnson, in the next round.