Canadian Dennis Shapovalov has slipped out of the men’s top 10 rankings with some recent defeats, but the 21-year-old is set to complete his 2020 season, which he is confident is in the top tier of the game.
The left-hander reached the quarterfinals of the US Open, where he lost in five sets, and the following week, he went down in the semi-finals of the ATP Masters 1000 event in Rome in a tiebreaker of the final set.
Those results pushed him into the top 10 for the first time in his career, before his initial defeat at the French Open and his ranking slipped in Germany and Austria.
“When I’m at the top,” Shopolov told reporters before the Sophia Open, “I think I’m playing some good tennis.”
“I think I played really well throughout the season, and I’m very happy with where my game is. I think I have definitely improved and I feel like my level is with these (top) guys.
“If I don’t make it to the top 10 again this season, I’ll definitely try to go for it next season. The important thing is that I think my level is with these guys and I’m a good one. I am able to compete with. “
After suffering his third straight defeat in Vienna last month, Shapovalov decided to take a break and leave the Paris Masters. The Canadian said he was feeling refreshed again.
In the Bulgarian capital he will be joined by countryman and friend Felix Au Ger-Alicem, who ranks second.
“It’s definitely great for Canada and for tennis in Canada,” Shapovalov said of 20-year-old Ger Jar-Aliasim.
“It’s amazing to see both of us at the top of the draw, and hopefully it continues, inspires a lot of Canadian kids and keeps the game going in the country.”