Denis Shapovalov advances to semifinals at Winston-Salem Open

Canada’s Denis Shapovalov is off to the semifinals of the Winston-Salem Open.

The second-seeded Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., downed Russia’s Andrey Rublev 6-3, 7-6 (4) in a quarter-final played Friday after a rainout on Thursday at the ATP Tour 250 event.

Shapovalov, ranked 38th in the world, had 10 aces, compared to just one for world No. 47 Rublev.

It was the third win in a row for Shapovalov, his longest streak since reaching the semifinals at the Miami Open in March.

The dry spell since then saw Shapovalov’s ranking tumble from a career-high of No. 20. His record entering the week was an inconsistent 17-18 in 2019.

Shapovalov, 20, was scheduled to play No. 3 Hubert Hurkacz of Poland in a semifinal later Friday. Hurkacz beat No. 10 seed Frances Tiafoe of the United States 4-6, 7-6 (1), 6-1 in another quarterfinal.

The tournament serves as a tune-up for the U.S. Open, which starts Monday in New York.

Toronto’s Diez defeated in U.S. Open qualifying

Toronto’s Steven Diez has come up short in his bid to reach his first ever Grand Slam main draw.

South Korea’s Soonwoo Kwon defeated Diez 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 Friday in the final round of qualifying for the U.S. Open.

With no Canadians entering the main draw through qualifying, the nation’s contingent in the tournament’s main draw remains five, which ties a Grand Slam record.

Five Canadian men played this year at Wimbledon, at the 2018 U.S. Open and the 1990 Australian Open.

Montreal teen Felix Auger-Aliassime will take on 20-year-old Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., in the U.S. Open first round for the second year in a row. Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil and Brayden Schnur of Pickering, Ont., are also entered into the main draw based on their world ranking.

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