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Federer would be unreal at any sport - Shapovalov

17 January 2018 10:20

Roger Federer is unquestionably one of the best tennis players of all time, but Denis Shapovalov believes the Swiss would also be capable of excelling in ice hockey or any other sport.

Canadian teenager Shapovalov suffered an agonising exit from the Australian Open on Wednesday, giving up a 5-2 lead in the final set to be beaten by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

After the match, the 18-year-old discussed previous comments he had made about wanting to inspire more of his hockey-loving countrymen to take up tennis.

Shapovalov was then asked if Federer would have been a pretty good hockey player if he had focused on it.

"I think Federer would have been unreal at any sport he chose," came the reply.

Explaining his earlier comments about hockey and tennis in Canada, Shapovalov added: "I'm a huge fan of hockey. I love it. It would be nice to see a couple kids, you know, a few more, hundreds, picking up a tennis racquet as well, playing at clubs, just developing the sport in the country more.

"I feel like it's all hockey mentality, hockey, hockey, hockey. The last couple years we've proved that tennis players can come out of there, it's doable.

"I definitely think hopefully in the future we can see a lot more kids and athletes coming out of Canada playing tennis."

Reflecting on his painful defeat to Tsonga, he said: "I'm just going to learn from it and keep going.

"As much as the loss hurts, I don't find it as a loss. I find it as an opportunity to learn. I'm turning it into a positive.

"Hopefully the next time I'm in this situation, I play things a little bit differently."

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