NEW YORK (Reuters) - Denis Shapovalov’s U.S. Open star continued to rise on Friday as the Canadian teenager moved into the fourth round of the year’s final grand slam when Briton Kyle Edmund retired with injury, trailing 3-6 6-3 6-3 1-0.
The charismatic 18-year-old has had Flushing Meadows buzzing and while his win over the wounded Edmund did not light up Arthur Ashe Stadium, it did provide another glimpse of the talent former world number one Mats Wilander has described as a combination of Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal.
The Canadian becomes the youngest man to make it into the fourth round of the U.S. Open since American Michael Chang in 1989.
“It’s never great to win this way. Hopefully it (Edmund’s injury) is nothing too serious,” Shapovalov said. “It’s very unfortunate but I’m happy to be in the fourth round.”
Shapovalov may not be old enough to drink in New York but is quickly becoming the toast of the Big Apple having grabbed the attention of the tennis world with a dazzling array of skills and on court panache that have produced a number of upsets.
In the run up to the U.S. Open, he collected back-to-back victories in Montreal over former champions Nadal and Juan Martin Del Potro.
Proving Montreal was no fluke, Shapovalov claimed another major scalp on Wednesday taking down eighth-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and will need to produce yet another upset with 12th-seeded Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta now standing between him and a spot in the quarter-finals.
While the 69th ranked Shapovalov’s victory over the 42nd ranked Edmund would technically be classified as an upset, few would have bet on the Briton to put the breaks on one of hottest players on the ATP Tour.
It was Edmund, however, who grabbed the early break to charge in front 3-0 on his way to taking the opening set.
But, Shapovalov showed initiative in a scrappy second set, breaking to go 3-1 and then levelling the contest.
In the third, Edmund began to show signs of distress, calling on the trainer several times during changeovers to work on his upper back as a ruthless Shapovalov moved in for the kill, breaking him to lead 4-3 and again take the set.
Edmund bravely attempted to continue but after dropping the opening game of the fourth set, waved the white flag by walking to the net and shaking hands.
Editing by Ed Osmond and Christian Radnedge