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After watching tennis for many decades, it's been a long time since I have found a reason to be excited about it. While I have great respect for Federer and Nadal and their accomplishments, it's not healthy for the sport to be so dominated by two players. This is why I find Denis' rise so exciting. No one knows what he'll achieve, least of all himself, but at least, seeing fresh new players like him and the other NEXTGEN players, gives me hope that the game will experience some much-needed rebirth.

I haven't sat up late watching a tennis match in decades, but last night I was glued to the Davis Cup match. Here are some of my thoughts about what I saw:

Denis has an incredible amount of talent which still needs to be molded and watched over. But, he has terrific instincts on the court, and knows how to change his game when he needs to. His ground strokes are gorgeous with a great deal of pace and depth, but his net game needs a lot of work. Still, I like his instinct to go to the net so that it's not all about just hitting long balls at each other until the other guy tires out. That is boring tennis. In fact, players like him, need to be encouraged to develop a net game to be a better overall player.

What impresses me the most is probably the same thing others have mentioned. His mental fortitude. He is so strong mentally, with a wonderful ability to focus. He fully believes in himself, and seems to be more mature than his 18 years. I really like the way he always acknowledges the people who help him, and his team. He is very gracious that way, and it's a nice trait to see in someone his age.

The one thing I find a bit worrisome is that there will be a tendency to over-book himself. He also needs to step back and take good care of himself. His body is still developing, and this isn't a time to push him too hard. There must be a balance between the two.

In the age of the Internet where it's tough to find privacy when you're a professional athlete, I hope he will find a way to have his private/personal life. He deserves that, and let's hope the people around him will honour that, and let him have much-needed personal space.

Hoping to see more of this amazing young athlete.
 

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What impresses me the most is probably the same thing others have mentioned. His mental fortitude. He is so strong mentally, with a wonderful ability to focus. He fully believes in himself, and seems to be more mature than his 18 years.
In my opinion this is his biggest asset, and is what separates him from the likes of Gasquet, Dimitrov, Kyrgios, Tomic, even Zverev. Denis doesn't seem to be bothered by doubt, arrogance, or unrealistic expectations. Of course, everyone feels these things, but it's kept in healthy doses. The infamous umpire incident seemed to mature him overnight. Let's see how he does on the main circuit over the next 6 months and reassess his abilities then. I'm very optimistic but he's gotta put in the work outside of NA hardcourts to become a true contender.
 

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Yes, I very much agree. How do you rate Zverev? Honestly, I've never seen him play so I don't have a feel for his style, or his temperament.
 

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Yes, I very much agree. How do you rate Zverev? Honestly, I've never seen him play so I don't have a feel for his style, or his temperament.
You should watch of few of his matches then. He's very good. Two Masters wins at 20 is very impressive. However, he comes across as "bratty" and a bit arrogant. Also, when the match isn't going his way, he's not very good at finding solutions i.e. his USO match against Coric. The fact that he hasn't gotten to a slam QF is also concerning. Bo5 is where you make your mark as a tennis player. Denis has already made it to R4 at 18 and this tough DC win shows that he can go the distance mentally.
 

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Obviously people overestimate them because they think winning slams is easy the way Djokovic made it look until recently
Djokovic and Nadal definitely spoiled tennis fans into having unrealistic expectations about young talents. However, Shapo won't have to compete with Federer early on in his career.
 

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I will add that it is very promising to see more teenagers now in the Top 300 compared to the recent previous years. The current junior World #1 is a Chinese player named Yibing Wu and was born in 1999. He just reached the Finals in Shanghai Challenger (he's a Wildcard) which is remarkable He's projected to be #367 if he loses the final which is still an impressive ranking for a 17-year old. There are 29 teenagers in the Top 500 -- 16 in the Top 300 -- which is very promising. I guess what we take from Shapovalov is that maybe we are getting back a bit to the younger winners. You just hope they'll develop well.
 

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If he can thrash Nadal few more times that would be amazing
He's not hyped simply because he thrashed Nadal. He didn't even thrash him, to be honest, more like survived by the skin of his teeth. But the way he survived and more importantly what he did after that deserves every appreciation he gets. He was able to back that result up by more good results in the most casual manner imaginable.

In my opinion this is his biggest asset, and is what separates him from the likes of Gasquet, Dimitrov, Kyrgios, Tomic, even Zverev. Denis doesn't seem to be bothered by doubt, arrogance, or unrealistic expectations. Of course, everyone feels these things, but it's kept in healthy doses. The infamous umpire incident seemed to mature him overnight. Let's see how he does on the main circuit over the next 6 months and reassess his abilities then. I'm very optimistic but he's gotta put in the work outside of NA hardcourts to become a true contender.
Yeah, he doesn't seem to be distracted by all the noise. He's just arrived to the scene, but acts like he's been around for years. And I mean it in the best way. He's so natural to the spotlight. It's all business as usual for him. He's also very fit physically for a guy of his age. We're too used to snotty self-imploding kids trapped in bodies of 3m high lampposts. He's different. In his game and his attitude. Let's hope he'll go up from here and won't stall.
 
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However, he comes across as "bratty" and a bit arrogant. Also, when the match isn't going his way, he's not very good at finding solutions i.e. his USO match against Coric.
In what way does he come across like this? Is it in his matches, post-match interviews? I didn't see the Coric match, and really don't know much about him, but the commentators mentioned him a few times in other matches as a being an important "up and comer".
 

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In what way does he come across like this? Is it in his matches, post-match interviews? I didn't see the Coric match, and really don't know much about him, but the commentators mentioned him a few times in other matches as a being an important "up and comer".
During matches. He's ok off court but doesn't seem to have time for his fans. He's said things like "This is my fucking court" during a match and acts generally pouty and frustrated when he's not in control.

He's definitely an important player. He's top 5. His attitude hasn't stopped him from winning a lot of Bo3 but it could stop him from being a multi-slam winner.
 

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In what way does he come across like this? Is it in his matches, post-match interviews? I didn't see the Coric match, and really don't know much about him, but the commentators mentioned him a few times in other matches as a being an important "up and comer".
Yeah basically when things aren't going his way he just acts very weird, can get into a lot of arguments with umpires, screams at ball kids, etc. Like basically he sometimes tries to get his anger & frustration out on someone or something and blame it on someone else if things are not looking good for, and he does it in a nasty way.

I don't know if he does it on purpose or realizes how bad it looks from the outside, but to be honest he seemed to have improved his attitude a lot over the years and has gotten better on court this year.

He also seems very cocky in interviews and off court with his attitude, etc. But he has the right to feel that way after winning 2 masers at 20 years of age & being in the top 5 lol.

We'll see how well he can keep this up for, now that Murray, Djokovic, Nishikori, and Stan will be back in 2018.

And with regards to Denis...I REALLY love the guy! Not only is he so talented and mentally & physically strong at 18, but he has this incredible aura & charisma about him that makes him so admirable both on & off the court.

I really can't wait for him to break through and start dominating the tennis tour in the next couple of years.

Go Denis!
 

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Exciting young player but people are overestimating currently.
True but I can't think of a single exciting young player that hasn't been overestimated.
I

Obviously people overestimate them because they think winning slams is easy the way Djokovic made it look until recently
I'm sorry but Djokovic doesn't make a single thing on a tennis court look easy, so much as to say bouncing the ball. I think you're getting him confused with the Swiss guy Federer.
 
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