Shapo­valov downs Del Potro, Fed­erer cruises past Canada’s Polan­sky at Rogers Cup

Cape Breton Post - - Sports -

Cana­dian teenager De­nis Shapo­valov downed former U.S. Open cham­pion Juan Martin del Potro on a gusty Wed­nes­day at the men’s Rogers Cup.

The 18-year-old Shapo­valov took the sec­ond-round match 6-3, 7-6 (4).

It set up a pos­si­ble thir­dround meet­ing with top-seeded Rafael Nadal, who played Borna Coric late Wed­nes­day.

Shapo­valov be­came the youngest player to reach the round of 16 of a Mas­ter Se­ries tour­na­ment since Nadal in 2004 at Mi­ami.

It likely had mostly to do with Roger Fed­erer play­ing ear­lier in the day, but the cen­tre court stands were packed, which is un­usual for a weekday af­ter­noon. They threw full sup­port be­hind the left-handed Shapo­valov, who caused a stir at last year’s Rogers Cup by oust­ing Aussie star Nick Kyr­gios.

Shapo­valov forced an early ser­vice break en route to a quick first set, but the Ar­gen­tine veteran bat­tled back with a break early in the sec­ond. Shapo­valov kept his cool and the crowd ex­ploded in sound when he forced a tiebreaker and fin­ished it off in the sec­ond set.

Sec­ond-seeded Fed­erer made short work of Toronto’s Peter Polan­sky, win­ning 6-2, 6-1 in 53 min­utes.

Fed­erer, a two-time Rogers Cup cham­pion ranked third in the world by ATP, has had a sur­prise resur­gence this sea­son by post­ing his 18th and 19th ca­reer grand slam wins at the Aus­tralian Open and Wim­ble­don.

It was his first match of the hard court sea­son that leads up to the U.S. Open.

“I think this tour­na­ment I’m try­ing to play with con­fi­dence that I gained through the grass court sea­son,” said Fed­erer. “I have to ad­just my game a lit­tle bit just be­cause the bounce of the ball is so much higher here than at Wim­ble­don, and there’s wind, which in Wim­ble­don we didn’t have much of.

“It’s just re­ally to see how it goes this week, and then learn from this week, how I need to then play in Cincinnati (next week) and the U.S. Open.”

The Swiss ace turned 36 on Tues­day and cel­e­brated by tak­ing in a Cold­play con­cert at the Bell Cen­tre.

Then he got a warm wel­come from the Uniprix Sta­dium crowd in his first Cana­dian Open match since los­ing to Jo-Wil­fried Tsonga at the 2014 fi­nal in Toronto.

“The crowd sup­port was great,” said Fed­erer. “It wasn’t the clos­est match to­day, but they were there for Peter when he needed the crowd and he hit good shots.

“I thought that was re­ally nice. And for me, they were there ev­ery step of the way. At the Cold­play con­cert, just to see how is the Mon­treal crowd again, they were un­be­liev­ably loud. That’s also some­thing I took away from the con­cert — be­sides how good Chris Martin and the band was — is how un­real the sta­dium is, the Bell Cen­tre.”

Fed­erer will next face the win­ner of a match be­tween Amer­i­can Jack Sock and Spain’s David Fer­rer.

Polan­sky, ranked No. 116 in the world af­ter some strong re­sults in Chal­lenger events, up­set No. 75 Vasek Pospisil of Van­cou­ver in the first round on Mon­day.

It was his sec­ond meet­ing with Fed­erer. At the 2014 Rogers Cup, he lost 6-2, 6-0.

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