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Denis Shapovalov may have started to make a name for himself on the professional men's tennis circuit in 2017, but for some, said name is still (and will likely always be) hard as shit to pronounce.
On the court Tuesday, the current No. 51 ranked dropped his first match of the new year to the 50th-ranked Kyle Edmund, a player he defeated in the Round of 32 at the US Open in September. Off the court, Shapovalov's 2018 didn't jump off to a clean start, either, as the absolute demolishing of his last name by this announcer at the Brisbane International would indicate.
Shberavlevelov? Shmavobalovlov? Schvelvovavlob? It's impossible to truly decipher what he went with here, but let's cut the dude a bit of slack. If you are one of those people who claim to have pronounced Shapo's last name correctly and flawlessly the first time you ever tried to say it, you're lying. On the other hand, this guy is supposed to be a professional tennis announcer and probably should have done a little bit of research to ensure he didn't slaughter the name of the rising star on national television.
On the other, other hand, this happened just a couple days after New Year's Eve and if you've ever tried to dummy a bunch of king cans of Foster's Lager in one evening, you'll know that preparing to pronounce a 10-letter Russian-Canadian last name was definitely at the bottom of this guy's priority list.
Besides, Shmavobalovlovelev himself didn’t seem to be to flustered by the announcer's blunder, so why should we?
Shapovalov, who helped explain exactly how to pronounce his name during a presser a few months back, is hoping to build off a breakout season in which he climbed 200 spots in the ATP world rankings, dropped Rafael Nadal in front of his home fans at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, and became the youngest player in nearly 30 years to reach the round-of-16 at the US Open.
It seems like he's on the path to (nearly) international name recognition. Doesn't mean it will ever get easier to pronounce, though.