Denis Shapovalov’s historic defeat of Rafael Nadal on Thursday was not the first time the Canadian up-and-comer met the Spanish legend on the court.
In a widely circulated photo from the 2008 Rogers Cup, a then-nine-year-old Shapovalov can be seen posing next to Nadal, but the Canadian up-and-comer said on Friday he doesn’t remember the picture being taken.
Coupe Rogers 2008. Le gamin avec la casquette rouge (Denis Shapovalov) a battu Nadal hier, 9 ans après cette photo pic.twitter.com/pLxNLDqaOY— Photos Histoires (@PhotosHistos) August 11, 2017
During a press conference following his victory over Adrian Mannarino on Friday, Shapovalov did say he remembers the day the photo was taken.
“I remember the day but it just didn’t come to my head until somebody posted a picture,” he said.
A younger Shapovalov had been set to play a five-minute exhibition before Nadal’s match, which was ultimately cancelled as another match had gone long.
“We didn’t get a chance to play, I was a little bummed out because I thought Rafa was going to watch me play before his match,” he said with a laugh. “But we got to take a picture with him, which was very cool for me.”
With his defeat of Mannarino, Shapovalov moves on to the Rogers Cup semi-finals. He’ll play Germany’s Alexander Zverev on Saturday, with the victor moving on to Sunday’s final against the winner of a match between Robin Haase and Roger Federer.