Canadian tennis star Denis Shapovalov left the court in tears after losing to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon. Shapovalov, ranked at No. 12 in the world, competed extremely well against Djokovic but still he lost in straight sets as the Serb won 7-6 (3) 7-5 7-5.
“I think what hurt so much this time was just that I felt like the game is there and it's possible to go and play for the trophy,” Shapovalov said afterwards, per the ATP website. “It's a feeling I've never had before, so that's why it just hurt so much.
I felt like I was outplaying Novak in parts of the match. If you're outplaying Novak, you can beat anyone. “It just hurt a lot… It's been a lot of pressure, a lot of mental fatigue. Like, it all kind of spilled out on the court before I could control myself”.
Shapovalov drew positives from the defeat
“It's almost good to have a little bit of a taste, because it just makes me want it that much more going into the next Slams and into the future,” he said. “Now I know exactly what I'm capable of and where my game can be at.
Also the things that I can improve, too, to beat Novak next time or go one step further”. After the match, Djokovic had some encouraging words for Shapovalov. “He just told me he knows how difficult it is for me right now,” Shapovalov said.
“He told me that everything will come. For me, it's big coming from someone like him. He doesn't have to do this. It just shows the type of person he is. It's just really nice for someone like me to hear from him.
“I have tremendous respect for him. He's definitely for sure one of the greatest players of all time. It's awesome to hear those words from him”. Djokovic claimed a straight-set win over Shapovalov but afterward underlined that it wasn't easy at all against the Canadian.
“I don’t think that the scoreline says enough about the performance and about the match. He was serving for the first set and he was probably the better player for most of the second set,” Djokovic said in his on-court interview.
“He had many chances and I would like to give him a big round of applause for everything that he has done today and these two weeks”.