Denis Shapovalov not fond of comparisons, calls Roger Federer his 'idol'

By @saihoops on
Denis Shapovalov vs Pablo Carreno Busta live stream
Sept 1, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Denis Shapovalov of Canada hits to Kyle Edmund of the United Kingdom in Ashe Stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. USA TODAY Sports / Robert Deutsch

Denis Shapovalov, widely regarded as the next superstar in tennis, has qualified for next month's Next Generation ATP Finals in Milan, Italy. The Canadian teenager recently revealed in an interview that he grew up with a room full of Roger Federer posters and idolized the Swiss Master. 

Shapovalov has already drawn comparisons with World No. 1 Rafael Nadal for his powerful baseline rallies, endurance and speed. However, the 18-year-old prefers not to be compared to either Nadal or Federer, and prefers carving out a legacy of his own. 

In an interview with Le Matin, Shapovalov acknowledged the "vintage talent" tag because his style evokes the attackers of the 1990s.  "It's a huge compliment. No doubt the vintage side comes from my one-handed backhand, a rare hit that remains identified as classic. But on the other hand, the game of comparisons is limited. Everyone has his style, his character and especially his own path to draw. Obviously, I love being compared to Rafa (Nadal) or Roger (Federer) . I also watched Roger, who is my idol. But I do not want to be like the champions of the past."

Teenager Denis Shapovalov is looking at the bigger picture

Despite the high degree of expectations, World No. 49 Shapovalov is setting smaller goals for himself. "I would like to finish the year 2017 in the Top 40. By cons, I have not yet set targets for 2018, we will talk during the winter preparation. And for dreams, I would say to be world number one and win Grand Slam tournaments. But also, or even more importantly, have many children start playing tennis in Canada. We are a great hockey nation, it is time for tennis to gain ground. "

Denis Shapovalov became an overnight sensation in August after beating Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro at Coupe Rogers. After that, the Canadian teenager was viewed as a legitimate contender for the U.S. Open due to injuries suffered by top-ranked players such as Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. Although Shapovalov suffered a fourth-round exit against Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, he left a big impression on fans at Flushing Meadows and showed signs of a future U.S. Open champion. Stay tuned for the latest news on the ATP Next Gen Finals.