The fairy tale run of Denis Shapovalov at the Coupe Rogers came to an end, on Saturday evening, to the hands of Alexander Zverev. The 20-year-old German defeated the 18-year-old Canadian 6-4, 7-5 to book his spot opposite Roger Federer in Sunday’s final.

After the match, Zverev had nothing but nice words for his fellow Next Gen: “I felt like the crowd and the tournament, the whole city of Montreal, was really supporting him all the way”, he said. “It was an amazing story. I think this is just the beginning of a very long story. Hopefully he can continue doing what he’s doing.”

However, “don’t expect him to win US Open in the next few months coming up”, he warned, rightfully so. “He still needs some time. This is I think the best tennis he played in his life. For him to play this level consistently, it might take him, you know, another two to three years. But on the other hand he has shown what level he has in himself and what talent that he is. It’s going to be amazing watching him and playing against him.”

Roger Federer about Denis Shapovalov

Zverev and Shapovalov: a new Next Gen rivalry?

The young players are making a lot of noise in the game right now. New rivalries are being born of the battles between those great, fresh talents emerging on the tennis scene.

Will Zverev and Shapovalov become one of them? The German thinks so.

“[At the net], I told [Denis] that this is just the first match of very, very many that we will play against him. Hopefully a lot of other big matches, maybe in Grand Slams, maybe in finals of tournaments. I just told him that this is the beginning for him.”

– Alexander Zverev

We can only hope that these words will come true.

(Photo: Getty Images)