Neither Shapovalov or Nadal could create separation during the third set that went into a tiebreak. Shapovalov, World No. 143, battled to a 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) success against former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro and set up a clash with Nadal. Had he reached the semifinals, he would have surpassed Andy Murray and moved into the top spot. On a hard court as a 17-year-old, Nadal crushed Roger Federer in a Miami event for top players.
The third game of the second set lasted 14 minutes with Shapovalov finally holding serve when Nadal's volley sailed into the net.
"Probably my worst loss of the year because I lost against a player with a lower ranking".
In the women's event, now taking place at the Aviva Centre in Toronto, Sloane Stephens of the United States eliminated German third seed Angelique Kerber 6-2, 6-2 in 58 minutes to reach the quarter-finals. "There will be a changing of the guard at world No 1 level, and I hope for Rafa he can get there", the 19-time men's singles Grand Slam victor added.
Federer, a big endorser of #NextGenATP talent, came away impressed with Shapovalov after watching the Canadian teenager play in the Wimbledon juniors a few years back. Gretzky has been courtside for all of Shapovalov's matches, and said he believes the Canadian left-hander has what it takes to be a superstar athlete. It's going to be very interesting for me to go up against him, just to see how my game style matches him.
"He played well. He has great potential".
Federer on Thursday defeated David Ferrer in a three-set encounter to win his match in Montreal.
World number one Karolina Pliskova is through to the quarter-finals of the women's event in Toronto
"I played really well in the big moments", Shapovalov said after the match.
18-year-old Canadian, Shapovalov was nearly caught speechless after the biggest win of his career.
Haase beat Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (6-3) 4-6 6-1, while Schwartzman defeated American Jared Donaldson 0-6 7-5 7-5. Shapovalov has put an end to the match with a forehand in parallel before letting her fall to the back. The Canadian teen saved four match points in his opener against Rogerio Dutra Silva then outplayed Del Potro in straight sets. It wasn't until he levelled the sets at one each that he realized he could beat the 10-time French Open champion.
He also rued his missed opportunities in the final set, having wasted a massive amount of five break points in his first three return games of the decider.
Fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany rolled into the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over 16th-seeded Nick Kyrgios of Australia, and Kevin Anderson of South Africa eliminated Sam Querrey of the United States 6-4, 6-1.
Bautista Agut fought off a match point to force a tiebreaker, which the tired-looking Monfils opened with a double fault and never challenged again.
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