It is a busy day once again for Canadian fans watching the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, as the quarter-finals were underway this morning with three members of the Canadian squad left in singles side of the tournament.
Photo: Martin Sidorjak
Starting on Centre Court for the Canadian men’s, Denis Shapovalov took on another clay-court specialist, Casper Ruud of Norway. Ruud is the current world No. 10 and has recently won the Buenos Aires tournament in February of this year.
Shapovalov was not able to find the same recipe used to defeat the King of Clay, Rafael Nadal, in his round-of-16 contest yesterday. Both Ruud and Shapovalov have met once before, playing in the 2021 Geneva Open finals, where Ruud expertly took the championship match with a 7-6 (6), 6-4 win. Again, Ruud was able to edge past Shapovalov, claiming the match by a score of 7-6(7), 7-5.
It was a hard-fought battle between the two young players, as they forced a tiebreak in the first set. Although Shapovalov put up a fight, winning 76 per cent of points at the net and saving all four break points he faced, he was unable to get the upper hand.
Going into the second, Shapovalov came in hot, hitting three aces and saving 10 out of 11 break points. However, it wouldn’t be enough to overcome the determined Norwegian.
Ruud will next take on the winner of another big-name match, Novak Djokovic vs. Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, who are playing next on Centre Court at 2:30 p.m. EDT. Djokovic and Auger-Aliassime have played incredible clay-court tennis thus far in the tournament, both winning in straight sets in the round of 16.