With Denis Shapovalov these electrifying performances are few and far between. Over the course of the last two years I’d say the Canadian has played maybe a little too much tennis when he needed to hold back.
Since the beginning of last year he has played 176 matches with 101 of them in 2019 which quite some number!
The performance against fellow Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime was what I described as the performance we’ve been waiting for but then the level dropped off.
Towards the end of the year he added Mikhail Youzhny to his team and in Paris at the final Masters 1000 of the year he really turned on the style.
Denis has always been quite lively on his feet and is most dangerous when he is shifting around the court following a solid groundstroke and not scampering.
He is an instinctive player and being ambidextrous adds to his shot choice. I think at times he can play himself into trouble against opponents but he does have the shots and athleticism to pull off great shots.
The forehand of the Canadian does a lot of damage especially when he is inside the baseline he is looking to come on top of the shot and hit it flat back across the net but the variety on the backhand has been the key.
The options on the backhand from that corner of the court make it slightly unpredictable when playing with composure and confidence.
Stepping inside the baseline he can snap that backhand quite flat down the line and cross court but it can be risky so what he looks at is that deeper position in rallies.
The deeper position gives him time and the way he rotates his body with the motion of the backhand to get that high clearance at the net and deep bounce pushes the opponent back and Denis is hoping grind out that short return to pounce on.
He can offer both composure and play instinctively off the backhand sometimes being erratic which can work to and against him.
The way he performed throughout his time in Paris Masters at the end of the season when he made the final does leave us plenty to think about going into 2020.
He has played a lot of tennis, had some good results but finding that higher level of consistency is something we haven’t seen too much of until Paris and before that Stockholm winning his first ATP title.