Denis Shapovalov: Felix Auger-Aliassime absolutely deserves Nitto ATP FInals spot

Canadian tennis star Denis Shapovalov absolutely believes fellow compatriot Felix Auger-Aliassime deserves a spot at the Nitto ATP Finals. 

Auger-Aliassime is currently 10th on the Race to Turin list but he is basically ninth since seventh on the list Rafael Nadal has called it a season. 

Casper Ruud, who currently owns the last spot for the Nitto ATP Finals, has 3just over 00 points more than Auger-Aliassime. 

“Definitely, I think that Felix has a great opportunity to contest the ATP Finals 2021. I think he should be there: he has had a spectacular season and I am very clear that his place is among the eight best in the world,” Shapovalov told Tennis Channel. 

Shapovalov knows his chances are slim

Shapovalov, who is currently 14th on the Race to Turin list, knows he is a long shot to make the Nitto ATP Finals. 

“Felix’s chances are much higher than mine. For me to get in I would basically have to win a Masters 1000. it’s definitely possible, but it’s extremely tough. So my main goal for the remainder of the year is to keep improving and focusing on my tennis to be a better player,” Shapovalov noted. 

On Thursday, Shapovalov beat Taylor Fritz 7-6 (7) 6-2 in the San Diego Open round-of-16. 

“I’m really happy to get the win, obviously. The first set was super, super tough for me and to come back like that was amazing,” Shapovalov said in his on-court interview, per the ATP website. “Definitely happy to be in San Diego, [it is] my first time. It’s such an amazing city.”

The key in Shapovalov’s win were six first set points saved. 

“When you have a tough set, it obviously helps a lot to win that set. Then you try to keep that momentum going. Obviously when you lose a tough one like that, your momentum drops. It’s very important to keep the gas pedal on,” said Shapovalov, who now leads the pair’s ATP Head2Head 4-1. “I definitely started the second set super well and just carried it.”