Shapovalov eliminates Tsonga to advance to US Open third round

Denis Shapovalov continues to astound, sending eighth-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga out of the US Open late Wednesday night.

Playing under the lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium – the biggest tennis stadium in the world – the 18-year-old defeated the world number 12 and former Australian Open finalist in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (3).

Denis Shapovalov, of Canada, reacts during a third-set tiebreak in his match against No. 8 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, of France, at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

From the very start of the match, Shapovalov had the momentum, breaking Tsonga’s serve in the opening game. He would convert all three of his break point opportunities and was able to come back from relinquishing a 5-3 lead in the third set to win the tiebreak.

Shapovalov is the youngest player to reach the third round of the US Open since American Donald Young in 2007 and the youngest player to reach the third round of a Grand Slam since Bernard Tomic did it at the 2011 Australian Open. The only Canadian still alive in the singles draws will now face Kyle Edmund of Great Britain, ranked 42nd in the world. Earlier this summer, Shapovalov defeated Edmund at Queen’s Club during one of the grass court warm up tournaments ahead of Wimbledon.

Tennis Canada’s rising star had reached the second round in Flushing Meadows with a 7-5, 6-1, 6-2 win over Daniil Medvedev of Russia, which was his first career victory at a Grand Slam.

Shapovalov had increased his world ranking to number 69 with his semifinal appearance at the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Montreal two weeks ago. But he still had to make it through qualifying to earn his first entry into the main draw of the final Grand Slam of the year.