THEY may not quite be as famous as Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf – but tennis has a modern-day power couple on the scene.
And fans are fully invested in Denis Shapovalov’s beautiful romance with Mirjam Bjorklund.
Tennis aces Denis Shapovalov and Mirjam Bjorklund are dating
They are very open about their relationship in social media
Shapovalov is one of the top male players and has a career-high of No10 in the world
Canadian ace Shapovalov, 23, is one of the rising stars in world tennis, reaching a career-high ranking of No10 in 2020 and is currently inside the top 30, earning £8.5million in prize money.
He reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2021, losing to Novak Djokovic, but has shown he can sometimes be a hot-head on the court.
The leftie was disqualified from a Canada vs Great Britain Davis Cup tie for accidentally smashing a ball in anger into the face of the umpire.
Shapo also got into aggro with Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open in 2022, before launching into an X-rated rant as he told the Italian Open crowd to “shut the f*** up”.
His Swedish girlfriend Bjorklund, meanwhile, is lower down the rankings at No149 on the women’s WTA Tour.
She qualified to make her Grand Slam debut at the French Open in 2022 – then backed it up by making her maiden first-round appearance at Wimbledon just weeks later.
Bjorklund, 24, is nine months older than her long-term boyfriend, who was born in Tel Aviv, Israel in April 1999.
They are both at the Miami Open in Florida this week, with Shapo courtside to see his sweetheart’s tense debut win at WTA 1000 level.
Canadian No2 Shapovalov started dating his fellow tennis star partner way back in June 2019 and the sports-mad couple regularly post loved-up snaps together on social media.
Despite their tennis pedigree and similar age, they were acquaintances long before they started officially dating.
Bjorklund explained: “We knew each other a little bit in juniors but not a lot.
“He was doing a lot better than I was, so I would just see his name in the finals and I would be on a flight back home, but I didn’t know him personally at that time.
“We got to know each other a couple of years later.
“Denis can’t be around all the time when I’m playing events, so it’s super nice to have him in the box.
Shapovalov and Bjorklund are very supportive of each other
The couple enjoy spending time away from the court together
“He has a great eye for my game and for tennis in general, so I really trust him.
“But he’s very keen on the fact that he’s not my coach, he’s my boyfriend.
“We always find a way to support each other and have a good time and that can definitely help if things are not going the way you want on court.”
Shapovalov added to the ATP website: “Mirjam’s extremely smart, you can see that on the court. I always try to ask her questions and vice versa. We both trust each other a lot.”
DENIS USES HIS VOICE
But it was after conversations with Bjorklund that he became aware of the disparity in prize money for men and women.
Writing in The Players’ Tribune, Shapo said: “I used to be naive about tennis.
“When I started out, I kind of assumed that male and female pros were treated the same way. It just made sense, you know? I mean, why would it be any different?
Shapovalov was defaulted when he struck an umpire with a ball representing Canada
Bjorklund is lower ranked but is making good progress on the WTA Tour
“Then I met my girlfriend, Mirjam Bjorklund, and she really opened my eyes.”
“I know that tennis is by far the best major sport in the world for women in terms of the way these prizes are shared.
“It has grown so much over the last 30 years thanks to Billie Jean King and the formation of the WTA Players’ Council. The Slams are doing well.
“Things are definitely going in the right direction. But overall the gap is still huge.”
There is no doubt about it, Denis and Mirjam simply adore dogs – maybe it’s their mutual thing about chasing tennis balls.
So much so that the Canadian even opened his very own adoption centre – the brilliantly-named ShapeShelter – to help canines find new homes.
The couple even took in an adorable white dog called Merlin over Christmas to make sure he had a festive season to remember.
Bjorklund wrote on Christmas Eve in matching pyjamas with her man: “Happy holidays!!
All I want for Christmas is for Merlin to get adopted…
We had the most amazing time fostering him during the holidays and his future family is a very lucky one.”
The couple started dating in June 2019
Denis and Mirjam are passionate about dogs
RAP THAT UP
Shapovalov, who also speaks Russian and resides in The Bahamas, even tried to launch a music career on the side.
He released his first rap single, Night Train, during the pandemic and cited Drake and Eminem as inspiration.
The following month, he collaborated with French tennis player Corentin Mouten to drop Drip.
It’s fair to say, he should stick to tennis and dogs, not rapping.
It’s also completely accurate to add that Shapovalov and Bjorklund make one very good-looking couple indeed.
He has done a few photoshoots over the years – but she is a part-time model for luxury fashion and sports label J Lindeberg.
The brunette beauty has also used her social media platform to promote skincare brand Coola as well as Clean Drinks.
And the wholesome content – from puppy photos and tennis action to their adorable selfies and luxurious holiday snaps around the world.
Bjorklund is a part-time model away from the tennis court