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'I think I've improved' - Denis Shapovalov reveals tactical change for clay season

Denis Shapovalov backhand

Denis Shapovalov says he is expecting a much improved clay season after adjusting his return position this year.

Shaovalov has only won one title so far in his career, with that coming on a hard court in Stockholm in 2019.

He is yet to reach his first final of a clay event, though, with the semi-finals of Rome and Madrid the furthest he has ever been.

However, he believes he mas made a breakthrough on clay from a technical point of view, and he is keen to put that to the test over the next couple of months.

“I think I’ve improved on standing further back on the returns on the clay courts, on the red dirt, just to give [myself] more time and start the point,” Shapovalov the ATP.

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“Like going a bit heavier, deeper and just moving into the court after that. I feel like it’s definitely benefitted my clay court game.

“Not a crazy amount further, but definitely significantly further than I would be on the hard courts. Maybe three steps back.

“[It] just gives me time for the ball to come down so I can hit it back up heavy and just kind of work my way into the point, because I also feel on clay there’s a lot of tough bounces.

“And on the serve if there’s a little bit of a mis-bounce, then it’s pretty impossible when you’re standing close. But if you’re standing back you can still react to it.”

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