75 minutes is all it took for Denis Shapovalov’s home magic to evaporate. The Canadian teen saw his 2018 Rogers Cup campaign come to a crashing end at the hands of Robin Haase on Thursday night in Toronto. The 2017 semifinalist struggled to find his range all night, committing error after error and eventually succumbing to the Dutchman in straight sets.
In the battle of 2017 Rogers Cup semifinalists, Shapovalov started fairly well, battling in a highly competitive first set. But as the evening wore on, his struggles got out of control as the more consistent Haase ground him down. The Dutchman advanced to his second straight quarterfinal in Canada with a 7-5, 6-2 victory.
Haase overcomes slow start
It looked early on as if it would be a blowout in favour of the Canadian, as Shapovalov roared out of the gate winning the first seven points of the match. Leading 1-0, love-40, that was about where the good things ended for the Canadian. A miss-hit on the first break point set the tone for the rest of the match as he failed to convert all three of his break points, plus another at 40-AD, as Haase held to level the score.
At 2-all, things started to move into the Dutchman’s favour. Shapovalov would fire a forehand from the midcourt wide go down break point, which he would save with a textbook serve-and-one. However, he doubled-faulted at deuce before sending another forehand wide to go down a break.
Shapovalov responded quickly, breaking right back in the following game when Haase sent a backhand wide. However, the Canadian was no longer dominating the rallies as he had earlier in the match. At 5-all, he double-faulted at 30-all to give Haase a break point. The Dutchman sent his return long, but Shapovalov gave him another chance when he netted a half-volley. This time, the Canadian sent a forehand into the net to drop the late break. Haase would serve out the set in the following game.
Shapovalov falls apart
The was no reset for the 19-year-old between sets, as he continued his downward slide early in the second. At 1-all, he committed three straight unforced errors, the third of which was an easy volley well out, to go down love-40. He would misfire a forehand wide on the second to go down an early break.
It seemed as though Shapovalov was physically unable to get the ball over the in the second set. In his next service game, he sent a forehand into the net to go down 15-40 and, after saving the first with a volley winner, ripped a forehand that clipped the net cord and flew well out to hand Haase a double break. That would be enough for the Dutchman, who calmly held serve in his remaining two service games to put the Canadian away.
By the numbers
Shapovalov’s serve was not the weapon he needed it to be on this night, only putting 52 percent of his first serves in play and only winning 36 percent of his second serve points, double-faulting six times. Haase wasn’t dominant on serve, only winning 71 percent of his first serve points compared to 80 percent for Shapovalov, but saved five of the six break points he faced.
Haase will meet Karen Khachanov in the quarterfinals.