Denis Shapovalov has been on a meteoric rise this summer, blasting his way to the Montreal semifinals, and now reaching the third round in New York after upsetting Jo-Wilfrid Tsonga. It's only natural that the 18-year-old Canadian will gain some more fans, and one of them is none other than Sloane Stephens.
At first, it may not seem like a full-fledged tennis crush, until it was revealed that Stephens sent him and his family a bottle of wine after recognizing the Canadian at a restaurant in Toronto.
“I was like ‘man, I really love this kid, he’s so good’ and I saw someone that looked identical to him at a restaurant. I was like ‘oh man we gotta send him a drink or something, right," Stephens said. "But he’s like 17 or something. So I was like maybe not. So we’ll send his parents a bottle of wine. We did. They enjoyed it and everything’s cool."
It turned out that the blonde youngster enjoying his dinner wasn't Shapovalov, but it's the thought that counts.
"Basically, we ended up sending them vodka and all this stuff. An hour after we had eaten the whole entire meal, I had someone go into the bathroom with the kid, the person who I thought was Denis and it wasn’t him," she said. "I was so disappointed because I was like ‘Oh my god I thought it was him.’ Everyone was like ‘you’re an idiot. But I love him and I’m a huge fan. So you know, go Canadian tennis."
The 24-year-old American is still determined to show her fondness for Shapovalov. After beating Roberta Vinci in her New York opener, she said:
"If I see him at a restaurant, I'll totally send him some stuff."
Both Stephens and Shapovalov are contesting their third-round matches on Friday.