Denis Shapovalov says he is ‘a huge fan’ of Carlos Alcaraz ahead of French Open clash

Carlos Alcaraz in action

Denis Shapovalov has admitted he is a “huge, huge fan” of Carlos Alcaraz ahead of the pair’s third round matchup at the 2023 French Open.

The Canadian praised the world No 1 for being “super humble” given what he has already achieved at such a young age.

The world No 32 has advanced to the third round at Roland Garros for the first time in his career this year.

Shapovalov overcame Brandon Nakashima in five sets in the opening round, before earning a four-set second round victory over Matteo Arnaldi on Wednesday.

Alcaraz saw off Falvio Cobolli in straight sets in his first round match and downed Taro Daniel in four sets in the second round.

Speaking after his victory over Arnaldi, Shapovalov lauded Alcaraz’s attitude and personality and looked ahead to facing the 20-year-old.

“I mean, first of all, I’m a huge, huge fan of his. I think he wears the shirt on his sleeve really well. I think he’s a great guy. He’s super humble for achieving what he has at such a young age,” Shapovalov said.

“You can see how much he enjoys being on the court and the situations that are coming forward to him. You know, he’s not in an easy spot being No 1 and so young and so much noise around him. I really look up to him. I think he is also just a nice guy.

“I mean, in the locker rooms he’s always saying ‘hi’. He’s always been polite since he came onto the scene. I think he has a great team around him. Everyone around him knows the tour really well. It’s going to be a challenge. It’s going to be a tough battle.

“Obviously he’s a great player, especially on clay courts, obviously everywhere, but especially on clay courts. Three out of five [sets] is not going to be easy against him, but I’m looking forward to it.”

The 24-year-old also discussed the knee injury which restricted him to playing just two clay-court tournaments prior to the French Open.

“Honestly, going into this tournament I didn’t really know what to expect. I was barely playing any tennis, just trying to see how the knee is this week and try to play as much as possible,” Shapovalov continued.

“Yeah, here I am making my best result at the French, so maybe I should practice less (laughing). But, yeah, I’ll give it my all. I’ll see how it is. Hopefully the knee is good tomorrow for the match. Yeah, we’ll see. It’s nice to put yourself in these situations.”

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