It won’t be easy. Even Denis Shapovalov knows it.
“Well, obviously he’s the best player in the world but, you know, I think,” the Canadian said before pausing and flashing another smile as the crowd got behind him after his five-set quarterfinal win. “Anything is possible and when you look at the scoreboard first thing on, whatever it is, Friday it’s going to be 0-0. So that’s it. Nothing else matters. It’s a tennis match and it could go either way … I think anything is possible.”
Facing Novak Djokovic, the world No. 1 aiming for Grand Slam title No. 20, is never easy. Especially when Djokovic is halfway to a Grand Slam after titles at the Australian and French Opens and could even snag a Golden Slam with a gold medal in a few weeks. And not when the guy has, “officially,” six wins against you to your none and you’ve only won two sets in those matches.
But here’s the thing, this isn’t the same Shapovalov.
The Richmond Hill, Ont., native has shown maturity and growth this season, especially at the All England Club. He even noted it after beating Karen Khachanov in the quarters by drawing on what he learned from a five-set heartbreak at the 2020 US Open. Showcasing a more all-around game, a calmer game, the lefty has put aside any questions that he has arrived. And, to boot, he’s beaten a legend — and the crowd — already this tournament, having sent hometown hero Andy Murray packing in the third round.
Plus, he can draw on one more thing.
As mentioned he is “officially” facing a 0-6 record against Djokovic. But it’s not really the whole story. Why? Because the duo has had one more meeting that didn’t count on the ATP Tour. They faced off at an exhibition Wimbledon tune-up called The Boodles back in 2019. The final score was 7-6(3), 6-4. The winner? Denis Shapovalov.
Novak Djokovic vs. Denis Shapovalov live updates, highlights from Wimbledon
How to watch Novak Djokovic vs. Denis Shapovalov
Both Wimbledon semifinals, starting with 14th-seeded Hubert Hurkacz facing No. 7 seed Matteo Berrettini at 8:30 a.m. ET, will be shown on ESPN in the United States. Fans in Canada can watch on TSN3 and TSN4.
Djokovic and Shapovalov are expected to start at 11 a.m. ET, although the first match could impact when their match gets underway.
For those who want to stream the matches, ESPN3 and ESPN+ through the ESPN app will have access, as will fuboTV. A subscription to fuboTV offers a free seven-day trial. In Canada, live stream access will be available on TSN.ca or the TSN App.
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