13 Agosto, 2017
This was the second consecutive upset for Shapovalov in the tournament after downing the world No 31 Juan Martin del Potro in the second round.
Nadal would have become No. 1 in the world if he had defeated Shapovalov and the victor of match between Chung Hyeon and Adrian Mannarino on Friday. With Novak Djokvic and Andy Murray dealing with recurring injury woes, the tennis world is expecting either Federer or Nadal to continue their dominance of 2017 with another age-defying feat.
The youngster responded impressively to Nadal easing through the first set to force a decider, where Shapovalov saved three break points before winning an epic 14-minute third game, which included 10 deuces.
"Worst loss of the year because I lost against a player with a lower ranking", Nadal said.
"You could tell why he's won so many Grand Slams".
Fast forward nine years and Shapovalov, now a fast-rising tennis sensation ranked No. 143 in the world, was back on the court with Nadal.
"I was just swinging for the fences", said the Canadian, who needed a wild card to get into the tournament.
"I played really well in the big moments", Shapovalov said after the match. "I remember when he was injured past year, and here he is a few matches away from clinching world No 1". The young Canadian hit some stunning winners in the match and put in another attacking performance that is sure to win him fans.
"He has great potential", said the No. 1. "He played with the right determination".
Dimitrov had won both of their previous meetings in straight sets, although this was their first encounter since 2014. And no matter the score against Nadal, Shapovalov played aggressive. The 29-year-old double faulted twice in his first service game and had difficulty handling Federer's pinpoint serves.
The other quarter-final matches on Friday include a clash between Holland's Robin Haase and Argentina's Diego Schwartzman as well as the talented German Alexander Zverev taking on South Africa's Kevin Anderson.
True, the Russian-born teenager (he was a one when his family moved to Canada) was lucky to escape four match points in his first-round contest against Rogerio Dutra Silva.
The three-time tournament champion held at love to force the tiebreak then opened a 3-0 lead before Shapovalov went on a shotmaking spree to pull off the biggest win of his career.