Qualifying begins: 26 June
The Draw: 30 June
Pre-event Press Conferences: 1 & 2 July
Order of Play: 2 July
Championships begin: 3 July
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Thirteen months ago, at the All England Club, Denis Shapovalov had his hands on the junior Wimbledon trophy, a win that made many people speculate about how good he might become when he matures.
Speculate no longer, for Shapovalov is here, right now, an emerging force in the men’s game after the 18-year-old qualifier caused a huge shock with a stunning straight-sets win over the eighth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Wednesday night at the US Open.
For so long, all the talk has been about how old players are when they breakthrough to the elite, how the physicality of the game means it’s so much harder to gain a place among the elite. Well, if you’re good enough, you’re old enough and at 18, the young Canadian stands with the world at his feet and the bottom half of the US Open draw at his mercy.
Eyebrows were raised when Shapovalov was not given a wild card into the event, despite superb performances in the Masters 1000 event in Montreal. But having won through qualifying and his first round match proper, the stylish left-hander ripped Tsonga apart with a fabulous display on Arthur Ashe Stadium, by far the biggest stage he had ever played on.
Showing no signs of nerves, he looked like he was born for the big time as he picked apart Tsonga, who, it should be remembered, has reached a Grand Slam final.
“I played unbelievable today, very high level,” Shapovalov said. “I don't know why, but I just managed to stay loose and go for my shots the whole match, except a little bit at 5-3 or 5-4, serving for the third set.
“I was having fun on the court. There were a couple times during the match I was just smiling, having a good time. I was enjoying the atmosphere. It's a dream come true for me to play a night match on Arthur Ashe. I mean, I grew up wanting to do this.”
Shapovalov’s 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(3) victory puts him through to the third round, where he will meet Kyle Edmund, the last Briton standing in Flushing Meadows, and a man that might just bring back a few nasty memories for him. Edmund was his opponent in the Davis Cup in April when, trailing by two sets to love, Shapovalov fired a ball toward the crowd in anger, only to watch in horror as the ball hit the umpire in the eye.
I grew up wanting to do this
It was an incident that shocked Shapovalov to the core and the Canadian teenager has since struck up a firm friendship with the umpire, Arnaud Gabas, and has worked his way up the rankings to 69th, with a place in the top 50 beckoning should he beat Edmund on Friday.
“I've come a long way from the incident,” he said. “I've been working extremely hard on it. It's definitely helped me mature.
"But I don't think this match has anything to do with it. I've apologised constantly before, and I continue to apologise for my actions. It's something I have to live with. But for me it's in the past and I'm a different person and a different player now. So it's a completely new match.”
At some stage in the near future, Sascha Zverev will probably get his hands on the US Open trophy. But it won’t be this year after the German, tipped by many as a good bet for the title, was upended in four sets by Borna Coric of Croatia.
Before Zverev, Coric was considered to be the man most likely to come through from the next generation to threaten the power-houses of the big four, or big five if you add Stan Wawrinka to Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.
And on Wednesday night, Coric reminded everyone that there is more than just one kid on the block as he claimed a 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(1), 7-6(4) victory that leaves Zverev wondering what went wrong.
“It's upsetting,” said the German. “Today was upsetting. The way I played was upsetting. The tournament so far is upsetting for me. I know that I could have done some big things here. I know that I could have done something that I haven't done before. But I won't. It's just as simple as that.”
Coric was understandably delighted, even if he played down the significance of a big win over one of his Next Gen rivals. “I don't see it as a big rivalry. I think we all have our paths, our careers. We need to go in our way. I'm trying not to look at the other guys, trying to look at myself, to improve my game, to improve my tennis.”
Venus Williams fended off big-hitting Oceane Dodin of France 7-5, 6-4 while Maria Sharapova backed up her first round win over No.2 seed Simona Halep by battling to a 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-1 win over Hungary’s Timea Babos.
Wimbledon singles champion Garbiñe Muguruza continues to look the stand-out player in the women’s field, marching into round three with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Ying-Ying Duan of China. But the women’s seeds continue to fall by the wayside with No.5 Caroline Wozniacki the latest to go, ousted 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-1 by that perennial giant-killer Ekaterina Makarova of Russia.
"In Cincinnati (when he reached the final) I was probably less dedicated than I was this week. I was playing basketball at Lifetime Fitness every day for two hours. I played an hour of basketball before I played David Ferrer in the semi-final.
"I was going to get ice cream, this Graeter's place, getting a milkshake every day. I was less dedicated. And this week I was dedicated, and my shoulder starts hurting. I don't know."
Nick Kyrgios on his struggles for motivation after falling to a 4-6, 6-1, 4-6, 1-6 loss to his compatriot John Millman.
With the match levelled at one set and three games apiece, Coric came out on top in this 39 shot rally to save break point and begin to shift momentum his way...