NEW YORK — Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov is out of the U.S. Open, while veteran Milos Raonic is moving on to the fourth round.
The 19-year-old Shapovalov dropped a hard-fought, five-set loss in the third round to No. 5 Kevin Anderson on Friday. In a night match, his compatriot Raonic topped 2016 U.S. Open champion Stan Wawrinka 7-6 (6), 6-4, 6-3.
Anderson took control of the fifth set with an early break and went on to a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 victory, setting up a fourth-round meeting with ninth-seeded Dominic Thiem.
While Shapovalov showed a lot of emotion on the court — fist-pumping and yelling after scoring on audacious backhand shots and throwing his racket in frustration after surrendering key points — the experience and imposing serve of the six-foot-eight South African proved too much to overcome.
"It's a couple points here and there. Like I said, it was a close match. I had a lot of chances to break back, wasn't able to do it today. He served big when he needed to, played unbelievably big. Yeah, it was a great match," said Shapovalov.
"We were both really happy with our tennis. It's great to be out there. Yeah, obviously it's disappointing to lose, but a lot of positives from it," he added.
Still, Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., showed flashes of brilliance in the loss, particularly in the fourth set when he had the crowd on it feet as he broke Anderson in the deciding game.
Shapovalov battled in the fifth set when he fought off four match points en route to winning the ninth game, but Anderson held Shapovalov to love in the deciding game to take the match.
The Canadian prodigy said his game has grown in leaps since his run to the fourth round of the U.S. Open in 2017.
"I feel like I've come back here a year — from last year, it's been a year now, and I feel like such a different player. I feel like I've improved so much in my game, mentally," said Shapovalov.
"I just feel like I belong out there this year. I'm able to compete with anyone out there, as I showed today. I feel like my game's at a different level."
Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., meanwhile, is now the only Canadian left in the singles competition.
He'll take on No. 11 seed John Isner of the U.S.
Raonic cruised to a straight-sets victory over Wawrinka in a match that lasted a little over two hours.
The 27-year-old launched 14 aces and won 87 per cent of points from his first serve.
He also fired 43 winners and had 27 unforced errors.
Wawrinka had 29 winners, 28 unforced errors and was unable to break the hard-serving Raonic for the duration of the match.
The Canadian Press