The new player-coach relationship of Denis Shapovalov and Peter Polansky

Peter Polansky, 33, is not only an active teammate and newcomer to teaching, but also a citizen who grew up in the same town. [Vaughn, en Ontario, NDLR] than Shapovalov in 10 years of his junior.

The decision was shocking, especially since Polansky would initially be with him, part-time, for only 10 to 15 weeks. In fact, Jamie Delgado was Shapovalov’s original choice.

I had a trial period with Jamie, then I spent a few weeks with Peter, and everything went very quickly with Peter.said Shapovalov who will face a rising star who will enter Roland-Garros on Tuesday, 19-year-old player Dane Holger Rune.

By hiring Delgado at the beginning of the year, Shapovalov took the first concrete step in managing his career.

It’s not because things don’t click between us. He didn’t have to be wrong. I think he’s a very good coach, but there’s a little bit lackingShapovalov explained in an interview with the Canadian Press.

Sometimes just imagine. I felt deep down that I needed to work full time with Peter [Polansky] because I was so comfortable with him. I felt like I was progressing on the court with him. It would have been hard not to use this opportunity. »

An excerpt from Denis Shapovalov, professional tennis player

The first deal with Delgado was that he would take care of Shapovalov until the Miami tournament. He shouldn’t have been there during the clay-court season, long enough to allow Shapovalov to bank on relationship status.

Before the Masters 1000 in Rome he called Delgado to tell him that he had finally settled down with Polansky and Adriano Fuorivia, an ocher specialist who worked with Shapovalov from the junior ranks.

For Polansky, who hasn’t made it into the world top 100 in 15 years in the professional ranks, the chance to manage Shapovalov comes at the right time.

Struggling with an arrhythmia issue that had previously forced him to come out in the middle of a game for the past six months, Polansky underwent surgery to resolve the problem. He plans to rest to recover.

During the December offseason, at Shapovalov’s request, Polansky worked with him at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. He also served as Delgado’s assistant at Indian Wells. Quickly, Polansky noticed that things were heading in the right direction.

coaché auparavant. Ayant voyagé seul pendant tant d’années, j’ai au moins appris quel genre de personne j’aurais aimé avoir à mes côtés “,”text”:”Honnêtement, je ne savais pas trop à quoi m’attendre. Je n’avais jamais vraiment coaché auparavant. Ayant voyagé seul pendant tant d’années, j’ai au moins appris quel genre de personne j’aurais aimé avoir à mes côtés “}}”>Honestly, I’m not sure what to expect. I never did coached formerly. Having traveled alone for many years, I have at least learned what kind of person I want to be by my side. said Polansky.

Maybe it’s my attention to detail. I believe his cause is in my heart. He saw it. It’s hard when you’re on top. Everyone wants their piece of pie. »

An excerpt from Peter Polansky, coach of Denis Shapovalov

In parallel

Even if they are less than 10 years apart, Shapovalov and Polansky have a long history in common, from Player’s Edge Academy at York University in Toronto to their presence on the ATP Tour.

They face the pros for the first time in 2017, Shapovalov won the Gatineau Challenger final, Polansky returned in favor the following week, in the semi-finals at Granby. That was the last time Polansky beat Shapovalov in the world rankings.

Peter Polansky in the 2019 Australian Open qualifying.

Photo: Getty Images/Graham Denholm

Two weeks later, Shapovalov, who was just 18, scored wins against Juan Martin del Potro and Rafael Nadal in the Rogers Cup in Montreal.

Recently, Shapovalov had disappointing runs at Indian Wells and Miami, where he only won one duel in two tournaments.

His time on the clay-court got off to a slow start, but his time at Rome was marked by another win against a Nadal with a hamstring injury.

Keep in mind that Shapovalov has not played in the French Open since the unique autumn edition held in 2020. He skipped Roland-Garros in 2021 due to a shoulder injury that has plagued a large part of his time.

Polansky knew he could make a difference for Shapovalov. He seeks to raise the standard of his game to the level of what members of the world’s elite do.

I think, if he’s at the top of his game, if he’s in his zone, his level of play is awesome. At this point he has the potential for a top 3. »

An excerpt from Peter Polansky, coach of Denis Shapovalov

I saw him play twice against Novak Djokovic and he has a good chance of winning two ATP Cup games. If he gets to that level consistently, with a little bit of ups and downs, he’ll gain confidence and build on that.Polansky finished.

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