6 things you need to know about Canadian tennis ace Denis Shapovalov

By Meghan Collie, FLARE

The tennis world has a new superstar and he just happens to call Canada home. Richmond Hill, Ont.-native Denis Shapovalov became an instant star when he defeated Rafael Nadal at the Rogers Cup in early August. Now, the 18-year-old is acing his way through the rounds at the US Open. Here are some fast facts you need to know about tennis's new golden boy.

Denis was born on April 15th, 1999 in Tel Aviv, Israel

Right before his first birthday, his parents moved him and older brother Evgeniy to Canada. He also has a residence in the Bahamas.

His mom was a professional tennis player, too

Tessa Shapovalova was a national team player in the former Soviet Union. She began training Denis when he was only five, and in 2012, she opened a tennis academy (aptly named TessaTennis) in Vaughan, Ontario. Tessa is still part of her son's coaching team.

Denis was the youngest player at last year’s Rogers Cup

After winning the 2016 Junior Wimbledon title, he earned the wild card spot in the Toronto tournament. He was only the third Canadian to win a junior grand slam singles title, joining the ranks of Eugenie Bouchard and Filip Peliwo.

He is the youngest player in the top 200

He is currently ranked 69th in the world, which is a huge feat given that he started the year in the 143rd spot.

He has some famous faces in his corner

Hockey great and Canadian icon Wayne Gretzky and Olympic sensation Penny Oleksiak cheered Denis on at the Rogers Cup

Great to have @typicalpen at my match tonight at the @couperogers #ImTaller

A post shared by Denis Shapovalov (@denis.shapovalov) on

But when he’s not achieving tennis stardom, Denis is pretty much just like any other 18-year old

For example, it appears that he and his friends jumped into a freezing cold lake just for the ‘gram.

Enjoying our time here in Lecco #FreezingWater #DidItForThePic #WorthIt

A post shared by Denis Shapovalov (@denis.shapovalov) on

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