Shapovalov sets up Wimbledon semis clash with Djokovic, Auger-Aliassime falls in quarters
Djokovic defeats Fucsovics, Federer knocked out by Hurkacz in quarter-finals
Canada's Denis Shapovalov is through to his first Grand Slam semifinal after posting a 6-4, 3-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 win over Russia's Karen Khachanov on Wednesday at Wimbledon.
Shapovalov, seeded 10th at the All England Club, fired 17 aces in the match and won 86 per cent of first-serve points, which helped lessen the impact of his 10 double faults.
Later Wednesday, Montreal's Felix Auger-Aliassime missed a chance to join Shapovalov in the final four after a 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 loss to No. 7 Matteo Berrettini of Italy.
The 22-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont., hit 59 winners to Khachanov's 31 and converted five of his 19 break-point chances in the match at No. 1 Court that took nearly 3 1/2 hours to complete.
The last break came at 4-4 in the fifth set. Shapovalov converted his fourth break chance in that game when Khachanov sent a forehand long.
WATCH | Shapovalov advances to 1st Grand Slam semifinal:
"I knew it was going to be a tough match against Karen," Shapovalov said. "We played once before and it was really physical and difficult. I knew he was playing well going into [the match] and honestly I felt he was outplaying me for most of the match.
"Everything was going his way, so in the fourth set I tried to step in a little bit and play more aggressively. I felt he got a little bit tired in the fourth set and I also stepped up."
Shapovalov won 15-of-16 first serve points in the decisive fifth set and didn't face a break point.
"I know, going into the fifth set, I've got to leave everything I have on the court for every single point that I play," he said. "I really felt like I was in on every single return and every single shot, and that's the difference I made.
"I think my game just elevated, and it's something to be super proud of myself for."
Shapovalov's previous best performance at a Grand Slam was at least year's U.S. Open, where he reached the quarter-finals.
Shapovalov faces top seed Novak Djokovic in the semifinals on Friday.
"He's the best player in the world but anything is possible," Shapovalov said in his post-match interview.
"When you look at the scoreboard first thing on Friday it's going to be 0-0. Nothing else matters."
Djokovic has won all six of his previous meetings with Shapovalov, most recently posting a 7-5, 7-5 victory in the round robin of the ATP Cup at Melbourne, Australia back in January.
Djokovic on Shapovalov
Djokovic called Shapovalov one of the leaders of the next generation of tennis stars.
"Maybe he was not winning big matches over the last couple of years, [but] it seems like he's maturing," Djokovic said. "You would expect that from a player like him that has really an all-around game.
Djokovic went on to say that players "don't get many opportunities against his service game, especially on grass."
Berrettini, facing a player he called "one of my best friends on tour," became the first Italian man in 61 years to reach the Wimbledon semifinals by beating Auger-Aliassime in four sets.
Both players finished with more unforced errors than winners but Berrettini saved nine of the 12 break points he faced, compared to eight of 14 for Auger-Aliassime.
Still, it was a breakout tournament for the 20-year-old Auger-Aliassime, who reached the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career with a captivating five-set win over fourth seed Alexander Zverev of Germany in the fourth round.
WATCH | Auger-Aliassime suffers defeat against Berrettini in quarter-finals:
"There's some good to take from my tournament here, a lot of positives, but today I just felt like I had a rough start again like in other matches, and it was just tough," Auger-Aliassime said.
The only other Italian man to make the last four at Wimbledon was Nicola Pietrangeli in 1960.
For about 20 minutes during his quarter-final on Wednesday, Djokovic was not quite his indomitable, infallible self.
After racing to a 5-0 lead at the outset, he dropped three consecutive games to his unheralded quarter-final opponent, 48th-ranked Marton Fucsovics. Wasted five set points in the process, too.
Soon enough, Djokovic righted himself, as he usually does, and beat Fucsovics 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 on a windy, overcast afternoon at Centre Court to reach his 10th semifinal at the All England Club and 41st at a major tournament.
That allowed the 34-year-old from Serbia to continue his pursuit of a sixth championship at Wimbledon — and what would be a third in a row — along with a 20th Grand Slam title overall, which would tie the men's record currently shared by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
WATCH | Shapovalov, Auger-Aliassime runs spotlight Canadian tennis:
Federer beaten by Hurkacz
Eight-time Wimbledon champion Federer lost 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-0 to 14th-seeded Hubert Hurkacz of Poland in the quarter-finals at the All England Club on Wednesday.
Federer turns 40 next month and never was able to summon the serving and shot-making that have carried him to those 20 Grand Slam titles.
Hurkacz is a 24-year-old from Poland who had not made it past the third round at any major tournament until this one.
WATCH | Hurkacz ousts Federer in stunning fashion:
With files from The Associated Press