The #NextGenATP veteran v. the #NextGenATP newcomer? Not quite, but Saturday’s Coupe Rogers semi-final in Montreal between 20 year old Alexander Zverev and 18 year old Denis Shapovalov will be must-see for fans interested in the present and in the future of the sport.

Zverev set the semi-final date late on Friday evening, beating Kevin Anderson of South Africa 7-5, 6-4 to reach his second Masters 1000 semi-final. The #NextGenATP German recorded his 44th match win of the season and has now strung together eight consecutive victories, including two over Anderson. Zverev beat Anderson on Sunday to win the Citi Open title in Washington, D.C.

“I’m trying not to think about it too much. I’m trying to play every match the same way,” Zverev said of his recent run. 

Shapovalov continued his dream tournament in Canada with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino. The #NextGenATP Canadian became the youngest ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-finalist. He and Zverev have never played.

“He’s doing an amazing job of getting to the semis here. He’s so young. He’s playing amazing tennis,” Zverev said. “I’m going to try play the best tennis that I can, to make it difficult for him. It’s going to be, hopefully, a great match.”

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With Shapovalov rightfully hogging the spotlight in Montreal, Zverev is quietly enjoying another deep run at a big tournament. The 6’6″ German saved three match points against Frenchman Richard Gasquet to win his opener, and he advanced in straight sets against Nick Kyrgios to gain his first victory against the Aussie in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

Against Anderson, Zverev improved to 4-0 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. He hit nine aces and overcame seven double faults in the 92-minute victory. Anderson did well to break Zverev and get back on serve in the first set, but the German broke Anderson once more to take the opener.

Zverev would gain another break in the second set to advance to another semi-final. He also reached a Masters 1000 semi-final in Rome en route to celebrating his maiden Masters 1000 title (d. Djokovic).

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