DENIS MOVES TO ROUND 2,
MONTREAL — Canadian Denis Shapovalov advanced to the second round of the Rogers Cup tennis tournament Tuesday after rallying to defeat Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil, 4-6, 7-6(8), 6-4.
The 143rd-ranked Shapovalov got better as the match progressed, needing two hours 26 minutes to upset the 64th-ranked Dutra Silva.
On triple match point, Shapovalov’s serve handcuffed Dutra Silva. The 18-year-old dropped his racket and threw his arms.
Shapovalov’s victory looked unlikely after he was broken twice in the 41-minute first set. The Richmond Hill native’s service game was his undoing to start the match.
Shapovalov’s first serve regularly-clocked in at over 200 kilometres per hour, but it lacked the accuracy to be effective. The Canadian had an abysmal first-serve success rate of 40 per cent in the opening set. But as his serve improved, so did his confidence.
It’s the second-straight year that Shapovalov has advanced into the tournament’s second round, after beating Nick Kyrgios during his opening match in 2016 in Toronto.
The win is Shapovalov’s first on hard court this year (1-3). It’s also just his second victory on the ATP world tour in 2017. He’ll now face Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina, ranked No. 31, in the second round.
The opening match was supposed to feature 10th-ranked Tomas Berdych, but he pulled out with a rib injury. Berdych’s withdrawal ended a streak of 12 consecutive appearances in Canada for the Czech.
“I am sorry I have to apologize (to) all my Montreal fans,” tweeted Berdych. “I couldn’t play, because of my rib disfunction I need to get well to go to office soon!!”
No. 85 Ernesto Escobedo took his spot and upset 63rd-ranked Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-6(4), 6-4.
Borna Coric easily defeated Mikhail Youzhny 6-2, 6-4 to set up a meeting with Rafael Nadal in the second round.
Milos Raonic from Thornhill was initially scheduled to play his opening match on Tuesday, but a minor injury forced him to postpone it to Wednesday. He faces France’s Adrian Mannarino.
Canada’s Denis Shapovalov celebrates after beating Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil at the Rogers Cup on Tuesday.