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Canadian Raonic says Shapovalov's U.S. Open run was "fun to watch"


NEW YORK — Canadian tennis star Milos Raonic says he's recovering well from the left wrist surgery that forced him to miss the U.S. Open. 

And while the No. 11 ranked player couldn't compete at Flushing Meadows this year, he says it was "fun to watch" fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov make a deep run at the Grand Slam tournament.

The Thornhill, Ont., product, who had surgery on his wrist last month, touched on both subjects Wednesday night when he joined Chris Fowler and former coach John McEnroe in the ESPN broadcast booth during Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro's quarter-final match at Arthur Ashe Stadium. 

"It's been a little tough to swallow, especially the timing of it all, but thankfully it's all going well," Raonic said of his injury and rehab process.

Del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champ, underwent three wrist surgeries over the last few years but Raonic told McEnroe and Fowler that his own surgery was less extensive than del Potro's had been.

"From what I understand, when he had his he had to have stuff done to the actual structure of the joint," the 26-year-old Canadian said. "Mine was just simply a cleaning. Nothing's changed in my wrist, I just took out some garbage that was around there."

"Hopefully it makes my backhand better," he added with a laugh. "I could use that."

Raonic said he had been following Shapovalov "very closely" at the U.S. Open and was impressed with the 18-year-old.

The left-hander from Richmond Hill, Ont., made it to the fourth round before losing to Pablo Carreno Busta at Flushing Meadows. That performance came three weeks after making it to the semifinals of the Rogers Cup in Montreal.

"It's been fun to watch," Raonic said of Shapovalov. "Montreal, here, both of them, he stepped up when he had the opportunities and for myself it was especially fun to watch being Canadian.

"He plays with that fire, he uses the crowd well, He's stepped up when he had the chance."

The Canadian Press

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