Shapovalov Rounding Into Form In Cincinnati
#NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov is rounding into form, and he showed it Tuesday in Cincinnati, rallying to beat Portuguese lucky loser Joao Sousa 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the first round of the Western & Southern Open.
"It was a great match. I knew going into it that it was going to be very tough. Obviously I had great support today, which really helps," Shapovalov told Tennis Channel. "It was a fantastic match. I was struggling a little bit at the beginning getting my rhythm, obviously coming here pretty late making the semis of [doubles] last week. Late arrival, didn't have much time to practise on these courts, but I did a good job of just fighting and gutting it out today."
Shapovalov was broken twice in the first set, winning only 48 per cent of his service points in the opener. But the three-time ATP Masters 1000 semi-finalist found his range as the match wore on, holding onto all nine of his service games in the final two sets.
The 20-year-old lefty entered last week’s Coupe Rogers on a five-match losing streak, but he defeated tough Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert and pushed second seed Dominic Thiem to three sets. He will next face World No. 31 Lucas Pouille, who ousted American qualifier Denis Kudla 6-3, 7-6(4) on Monday.
Did You Know?
Shapovalov holds an impressive 28-19 record at the Masters 1000 level. Both of his Top 10 triumphs came at a Masters 1000, defeating Rafael Nadal at the 2017 Coupe Rogers and Stefanos Tsitsipas at this season’s Miami Open presented by Itau.