Denis Shapovalov has been granted a main-draw singles wild card for the 2019 Winston-Salem Open at Wake Forest University. The 20-year-old Canadian made his first ATP breakthrough in the 2017 US Open Series, when he defeated Juan Martin del Potro and Rafael Nadal at the Rogers Cup in Montreal.
“Many think it’s time for 20-year-old phenom Denis Shapovalov to secure his first career ATP World Tour singles title,” said Winston-Salem Open tournament director Bill Oakes. “I think that’s a storyline worth watching."
Oakes added: “Denis is really excited about coming to Winston-Salem to help in his training for the US Open. He is looking for more matches and knows we have the perfect setup for his preparation—from our courts and balls that are the same as Flushing Meadows to the ease of getting around from our host hotel to the Wake Forest Tennis Complex.”
Shapovalov was born in Israel but moved to Canada as an infant. He is currently ranked No. 32 after being as high as No. 20 back in April. Many in the professional tennis community expect him to hit the Top 10 eventually, perhaps soon. Shapovalov acknowledges that he has become a crowd favorite wherever he plays, and much of that is because of his aggressive, free-wheeling style.
After exploding onto the ATP scene in Montreal in 2017, he continued his climb at the 2017 US Open, where he reached the fourth round with wins over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Kyle Edmund and 2018 Winston-Salem Open champion Daniil Medvedev. For his success in the last half of 2017, he was voted the ATP Newcomer of the Year and the ATP Most Improved Player.
Last year, he became the youngest player to reach the Top 25 since Richard Gasquet in 2005. This year, he has already enjoyed some success in the U.S. at a pair of Masters 1000 events, reaching the semifinals at Miami and the fourth round at Indian Wells.
In addition to Shapovalov's main-draw wild card, Wake Forest University standouts Borna Gojo and Petros Chrysochos have both received qualifying wild cards for this year’s tournament. A native of Croatia, Gojo completed his junior year in May and is a three-time singles All-American and 2018 NCAA Tournament singles finalist. Chrysochos became the second four-time singles All-American in school history this year. A Wake Forest graduate from Cyprus, Chrysochos was the 2018 NCAA singles champion.
In the Winston-Salem Open doubles field, Leander Paes and Jonathan Erlich will take the court with a wild card as well. Paes is a 46-year-old from India, currently ranked No. 71 in the ATP doubles rankings. He owns 54 career ATP doubles titles and reached as high as No. 1 back in 1999. He won the 2013 Winston-Salem Open doubles title with Daniel Nestor. Erlich is a 42-year-old from Israel, currently No. 102 in the doubles ranks. He owns 21 career titles, including one earlier this year. He teamed up with Andy Ram to win the 2011 Winston-Salem Open doubles title.
To be among the first to be notified about additional wild-card player announcements, download the Winston-Salem Open official tournament app. The app provides innovative ways to elevate the fan experience with instant access to draws and live scores, news and event information, and tickets. The app also offers a way for fans to enjoy fun challenges and trivia and earn points to redeem for one-of-a-kind experiences and tournament merchandise.
The official Winston-Salem Open app is available to download now in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. For more information on how to download the app, please visit WinstonSalemOpen.com.
The 2019 Winston-Salem Open will be held Aug. 17-24 at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex adjacent to BB&T Field. Tickets to the Winston-Salem Open are available online at WinstonSalemOpen.com/Tickets.