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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday August 4, 2020

Denis Shapovalov

Denis Shapovalov talks about his relationship with Mikhail Youzhny and why it is helping him.

Photo Source: AP

Denis Shapovalov is thrilled to have one of his favorite players from back in the day coaching him now. The Canadian, who advanced to the second round of the US Open on Monday with a 6-4 4-6 6-3 6-2 win over American Sebastian Korda, talked about what it is like to work with Mikhail Youzhny, former World No.8 and holder of 10 ATP titles from Russia.

Tennis Express

"Yeah, it's been really cool,” he said. “Misha was definitely one of the players I looked up to when I was really young. He was one of the first players I actually had a picture with.”

Shapovalov says he remembers hunting down the Russian at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, in 2008. If you’re scoring at home, Denis would have been just nine years old at the time.

“I remember him practicing at Rogers Cup and I followed his match,” he said. “I remember watching him beat Seppi in Toronto.”

The Canadian, who faces South Korea’s Soonwoo Kwon in the second round in New York, says that Youzhny, who was known for his crafty all-court play, has helped him grow his game in many ways.

“It's pretty crazy to be working with him, first of all, but just to get to know him as a person and as a coach, and I feel like he's helped my game so much,” Shapovalov said. “He's definitely made me a smarter player out there. I feel like he was very smart when he played. He was just, his positioning, the way he read the game, it's just another level for me.

“So to have that partnership and the opportunity to work with him, it's just been so good for me and I feel like I have learned so much from him.”


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