Mar/19

29

Federer Adores Shapovalov and Felix

By Scoop Malinowski

This week’s astounding emergence of the Canadian teenager double threats Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov has not only dazzled the tennis world, but also the King himself Roger Federer.

 

“They’ll carry the sport when we’re long gone, and we’ll be sitting on the couch watching those guys slug it out. They’ll be a joy to watch because not only are they great, great players, but they’re good people, too,” Federer said during his on-court interview with ESPN after besting Kevin Anderson last night 60 64 in the Miami Open quarterfinal.

“I love to see that about them. This year and especially last year as well, they really started to break through and won some big events and started to beat the top guys, too. I think it’s going to be a really, really interesting year, and here in Miami, we see two of the most talented guys out there on the Tour right now,” Federer said of the dynamic duo from Canada.

Federer has fond memories of training with Felix in Dubai in 2017. “He was a joy to work with. He was ranked like 200, and I knew he was on the rise but maybe not this quickly,” Federer said. “He’s got an amazing, bright future ahead of himself, and Denis as well. He’s one of the big shotmakers in the game. I just love his forehand. He’s got a great attitude and just keeps going for it. So I’m looking forward to the match. I’ve never played Denis before so I hope we can come out and play a great match, that’d be wonderful.”

Federer has been in this position before, of having to face an ambitious explosive left handed teen at Miami Open. Federer faced a 17 year old Rafael Nadal in a Sunday night match 15 years ago, an electrifying first time clash of titans which was won by Nadal 63 63.

Can Shapovalov match Nadal’s unique feat of being able to shock and awe Federer the first time playing him as a teenager? All questions will be answered tonight at 7 pm in their Miami Open semifinal.

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7 comments

  • Scoop Malinowski · March 29, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    Well, Federer dominated Denis. It was a free lesson bordering on child abuse. Fed looks as great as ever, I don’t see one area of decline in RF. Denis just was out of his league. 17 yr old Rafa was able to beat 22 yr old Roger in Miami Open, but Denis didn’t get it done. I say Roger plays another 5 yrs at least. He’s the perfect storm, perfect champion. too much game, too many shots, too much experience. Ben kenobi vs darth vader.

  • Dan Markowitz · March 30, 2019 at 2:58 am

    INcredible now that he’s reached IW and Miami finals in subsequent tournaments. Two years ago when he was 17 Denis was able to beat Nadal in the Canadian masters. I guess it just wasn’t happening today. Amazing!

  • Hartt · March 30, 2019 at 7:02 am

    Fed, when he is in Maestro mode, will beat anyone. Denis was positive in his press conference, saying he enjoyed the experience of playing Roger and will learn from it.

    I hope Roger can bring this level of play to the final. He got progressively better during the tourney, and he needs to keep that up.

  • Scoop Malinowski · March 30, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    You just have to take your hat off for Roger. The greatest champion ever.

  • catherine · March 30, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    Ash bts Pliskova SS in the final – a scrappy match, Pliskova didn’t seem in great shape but Ashleigh deserved the win. Overall not a distinguished women’s event considering all the top players were present at the start. On to spring time in Europe.

  • Scoop Malinowski · March 30, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    Barty’s biggest singles title. She is ready for a major title win this year. Beautiful game, best volleys in tennis. She’s paid her dues, now it’s time to see the big reward.

  • Hartt · March 30, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    It wasn’t a compelling final, but Ash played pretty well overall. Ka complained about feeling tired during an OCC, and even mentioned being tired in her speech. She did look a bit sluggish. In the OCC Martinez told her to “run, run,” but she did not.

    Ash is now at a career high of No. 9 in the rankings, so good for her!

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