The pair of NextGen ATP starts have developed a solid friendship.

Next Gen ATP stars Denis Shapovalov and Frances Tiafoe are developing quite a rivalry on the court. But off the court it’s a much different story. There is a great deal of support between the two players, as they’ve developed a great relationship over the years.

That’s what made Shapovalov’s 6-7(5) 6-4 6-2 victory over the American a bit bittersweet when it was all said and done on Thursday in Miami.

Tennis Express

“I think we're definitely pretty close,” Shapovalov said of Tiafoe. “It kind of developed throughout the years on tour. Honestly, in juniors, we kind of knew of each other, but he was really good at a young age and I was just starting up. Obviously I saw him around, but we didn't hang around too much.

“Then once we started playing pros, we played Laver Cup together, all this, and we just started getting closer and closer, and obviously we have practiced together a bunch of times. We've played each other a bunch of times. It feels like every time we play we kind of bring out the best in each other. It's always an honor to be on the court with him.”

Shapovalov, who advanced to his third career Masters 1000 semi-final and will face Roger Federer on Friday, says that he is always wishing the best for Tiafoe—unless of course the pair collide in the draw like the did tonight and on two occasions in 2018.

“I think it's tough in the sense that I wish the best for him, and I love seeing him go deep in tournaments and doing as good as possible. But, you know, when you're on the other side, like, for example today when you win, obviously you feel great, but part of me does also feel kind of bad, you know, just in the sense that he couldn't go on in the tournament. I know he deserves it as much as I do. He works so hard. He's such a great person.”