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New teen star Shapovalov is aiming for a special return


By Eleanor Crooks

Denis Shapovalov vowed to return to New York and "do some damage" after his US Open adventure ended in a fourth-round defeat by Pablo Carreno Busta. The 18-year-old Canadian has been hailed as the future of tennis and compared to a young John McEnroe during his run at Flushing Meadows.

It is hard to see Shapovalov as anything other than a future grand slam champion given his armoury of exciting weapons and competitor's mentality.

But he will have to wait a little longer after 12th seed Carreno Busta, the highest-ranked man left in the bottom half of the draw, battled to a 7-6 (7/2) 7-6 (7/4) 7-6 (7/3) victory.

Before leaving the court, Shapovalov put down his bags and thanked the crowd and, asked afterwards for his favourite memory of the tournament, he said: "Honestly, I think it was the roar of the crowd when I put my bags down and I went to applaud them.

At a time when men's tennis is having to contemplate life after Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, the emergence of Shapovalov could not be more opportune.

The teenager hopes his success will encourage Canadian youngsters to pick up "a racket instead of a hockey stick", and he is already aware of the wider impact he has made.

Shapovalov said: "Just a couple of days ago in Central Park, I was walking with my team and I ran into this kid.

"He comes up to me, and he tries to talk to me but he can't really start a conversation, he's shaking so much. He's, just, like, 'Oh, my God, wow, I can't believe this'.

"I grew up wanting to play tennis. I want to try to change the sport, first of all in Canada. But definitely in America, I think I'm making an impact, and hopefully I can continue to do so, because for me the best thing in life is to see kids like this looking up to you and just aspiring to be like you."

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