Shapovalov effect: ticket sales and enthusiasm up at Rogers Cup
The umbrellas and ponchos came out at the Rogers Cup on Saturday as play was delayed by rain, but nothing could dampen the crowd’s enthusiasm for breakout star Denis Shapovalov.
“Everybody is talking about Denis in Montreal, in Canada, and you know what? Across the world,” said tournament director Eugene Lapierre.
In a tournament that boasted some of the biggest names in tennis going in, suddenly Shapovalov is the top story.
“Now he’s just like it, you know?” said attendee Martine Doiron.
“To go this far, especially at his age, is impressive. He’s having a great run,” said Colin Morrell, who had traveled from Shapovalov’s home province of Ontario for the event.
At just 18 years old, Shapovalov already has many other young players looking up to him following his historic upset of tennis legend Rafael Nadal.
“It’s very inspiring,” said Dalhousie University tennis player Aaron Yip. “It shows that if he can do it, we can do it, too. We just have to work hard.”
Shapovalov mania has even had an effect on ticket sales.
“Ticket sales were not so bad at the start, [but] now it’s even better,” Lapierre told Global News.
He added he’s certain attendance this year will break the tournament’s previous record of 213,000.
For many tennis fans, the icing on the cake would be a Shapovalov-Federer final.
“I don’t even want to think about it — that would be so great. It would be fantastic,” Lapierre said. “But let’s see. Listen, he’s surprised us so far — just one more little surprise and we’re there.”