Denis Shapovalov has joined tennis stars Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz and Felix Auger-Aliassime in withdrawing from the upcoming 2023 Monte-Carlo Masters, leaving the tournament with even less firepower.
The Canadian hasn’t participated in Monte-Carlo since 2019, making his withdrawal less surprising than the others. While the aforementioned trio revealed injury diagnoses behind their pulling out, it is speculated that Shapovalov’s is mainly a schedule preference.
The World No. 29 has only two appearances at the non-mandatory Masters 1000 event till date, in 2018 and 2019. Both years, he faced first-round exits, falling to Stefanos Tsitisipas in the former and to Jan-Lennard Struff in the latter.
Interestingly, Denis Shapovalov’s exit has paved the way for three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray to enter the main draw of the year’s first clay Masters 1000 competition. However, it remains to be seen whether the Scot will play at Monte-Carlo, considering it was not part of his initial plans.
Alongside Shapovalov, Nadal, Alcaraz and Auger-Aliassime, World No. 17 Pablo Carreno Busta and World No. 34 Yoshihito Nishioka have also withdrawn from the tournament so far.
Denis Shapovalov expected to be in action next at Barcelona Open
Denis Shapovalov is set to be in action next at the Barcelona Open, which will take place the week after the Monte-Carlo Masters. The 23-year-old has made two previous appearances at the ATP 500 event, exiting in the Round of 32 in 2019 (loss to Cristian Garin) and in the Round of 16 in 2021 (loss to Felix Auger-Aliassime).
Shapovalov is coming off a rather poor outing at the Sunshine Double, losing his opener at Indian Wells and scoring just one win at Miami. In the former, the 25th seeded Canadian was shown the door by Ugo Humbert, while ninth seed Taylor Fritz ousted him from the latter.
The World No. 29 will be hoping for a good start to the clay season, a swing in which he didn’t have the best of results last year. At the 2022 Madrid Open, Shapovalov faced a Round of 32 exit, falling unexpectedly to Andy Murray.
At the Italian Open, however, he reached the quarterfinals, defeating 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal along the way. Unfortunately for him, he could not get the better of Casper Ruud.
Following a Round of 16 loss to Ilya Ivashka at the Geneva Open, Shapovalov suffered a disappointing first-round exit at the French Open. Seeded 14th in the tournament, he fell to Holger Rune in straight sets, marking his worst loss at Roland Garros.