Montreal: Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov shocked top-seeded Rafael Nadal to reach the quarter finals of the ATP Montreal Masters, spoiling the Spaniard's chances of returning to world No. 1.
The 18-year-old Shapovalov, who needed a wild card to get into the tournament, continued his giant-killing form at the hard court tournament by rallying to beat Nadal in three sets, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) on Thursday.
Nadal would have returned to the No. 1 spot if he had defeated Shapovalov, and then Chung Hyeon or Adrian Mannarino.
Shapovalov's stunning upset against the reigning French Open champion came as a result of some inspired tennis in front of a boisterous home crowd who cheered his every shot. But for Nadal, it was the "worst loss of the year".
Speaking after the upset, Nadal said: "It's my worst loss of the year because it's my loss to the opponent with the lowest ranking and because I had the chance to be world No.1.
"Denis played well, he has great potential and I wish him all the best. He has everything to become a great player. He played with the right determination in the important moments," Nadal said of the youngster.
Shapovalov was overwhlemed. "This is what I've dreamed of all my life growing up, playing guys like Rafa, Roger, Andy,' the teenager said. "You know, my dream came true."
Shapovalov had just three wins this season coming into the tournament. He quickly got on a roll in Montreal beating Brazil's Rogerio Dutra Silva in the opening round 4-6, 7-6 (10-8), 6-4. He defeated former US Open winner Juan Martin Del Potro in the second round in straight sets 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) to set up the showdown with Nadal.
Roger Federer, meanwhile, maintained his career-long winning streak over David Ferrer to advance to the quarters after a three-set battle with the veteran Spaniard.
Federer, 36, had never lost in 16 previous meetings with the 35-year-old Ferrer, whom he first defeated 14 years ago at the Vienna Indoor tournament.
But while Ferrer managed to take the opening set - ending Federer's 32-set streak - the Swiss ace raised his game to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. (Agencies)