Canada’s Denis Shapovalov is through to the semifinals of the Italian Open.
The No. 12 seed from Richmond Hill, Ont., edged No. 15 seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 in the quarterfinals Saturday to notch his first career win in three matches against the Bulgarian.
“It’s amazing to beat a player like Grigor,” Shapovalov said. “He’s someone I’ve looked up to since I was a junior. I’m a really big fan of his game and the way he plays. I’ve had some difficult matches against him.
“To get the win it’s a big step for me and a big step for my confidence to know I can beat a player of that category, of that level.”
WATCH | Shapovalov’s 100th win sends him into Rome semis:
Shapovalov, ranked No. 14 in the world, won 80 per cent of his first service points and broke Dimitrov, a former world No. 3, five times at the ATP Masters 1000 clay-court event.
The match lasted one hour, 53 minutes.
Shapovalov will play the winner of Saturday’s late quarterfinal between No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal of Spain and No. 8 seed Diego Schwartzman or Argentina in the semis on Sunday.
The 21-year-old Shapovalov is looking to reach the final of a Masters 1000 tournament for the second time in his career. He lost to Novak Djokovic in the finals of the Paris Masters last November.
Shapovalov’s only career ATP title came last October in Stockholm, a 250-level event.
Shapovalov is on a roll recently. He’s coming of a run to the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open.
“Definitely very happy with the result today and this week overall,” Shapovalov said. “I’ve had a lot of difficult matches and dealing with jet lag and the body fatigue, it’s not easy. I’m really happy with the way I’ve been able to overcome that.”