Cana­dian Shapo­valov pre­vails in Ja­pan Open first-round match

The Peterborough Examiner - - >>SPORTS -

TOKYO — Canada’s De­nis Shapo­valov is off to the se­cond round of the Ja­pan Open ten­nis tour­na­ment.

Shapo­valov, from Rich­mond Hill, downed Miomir Kec­manovic of Ser­bia, 6-4, 6-4, in the open­ing round on Tues­day.

The 32nd-ranked Shapo­valov, 20, saved all five of Kec­manovic’s break points and con­verted on four of his six chances. The Cana­dian added 16 aces.

The 51st-ranked Kec­manovic also lost to Shapo­valov in Win­ston-Salem, N.C. in Au­gust.

Shapo­valov has won nine of his past 12 matches af­ter a rocky stretch ear­lier this year. He’ll face the win­ner of a match be­tween No. 3 seed David Gof­fin of Bel­gium and Pablo Car­reno Busta of Spain in the se­cond round.

No­vak Djokovic stepped up his come­back from in­jury, and made amends for his dou­bles exit at the Ja­pan Open, mov­ing to the se­cond round in sin­gles.

The top-ranked Serb — at­tempt­ing to win a ti­tle on his tour­na­ment de­but for the 10th time — beat Aus­tralian Alexei Popy­rin, 6-4, 6-2, and next faces lo­cal wild card en­try Go Soeda.

Djokovic and Filip Kra­ji­novic had been knocked out of the dou­bles by fourth-seeded Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares on Mon­day. That was Djokovic’s first com­pet­i­tive match since re­tir­ing with a left-shoul­der in­jury dur­ing his fourth-round clash with Stan Wawrinka at the U.S. Open.

“My shoul­der is good, I didn’t feel any pain in to­day’s match,” Djokovic said.

“I thought from be­gin­ning to end that I played very well, very con­sis­tent, high level, good in­ten­sity, and plenty of chances on his serve. I was able to step it up in the se­cond set and fin­ished the match well,” Djokovic added.

“I saw Soeda’s match yes­ter­day. Play­ing at home is al­ways ex­tra mo­ti­va­tion, so I’m sure all the Ja­panese play­ers feel in­spired to play their best ten­nis, and that’s some­thing I’m ex­pect­ing from him to­mor­row,” he said.

Djokovic held four of his nine games to love and did not give any break­point op­por­tu­ni­ties in the match.

Yet Popy­rin had his mo­ments, and it took Djokovic un­til the ninth game to break. Popy­rin led 40-15 be­fore be­ing pegged back to deuce, then saved four break points be­fore suc­cumb­ing on the fifth.

Ja­panese wild-card Taro Daniel caused the big­gest up­set of the day by beat­ing se­cond-seeded Borna Coric, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (5), af­ter a gru­elling two hours and 39 min­utes in 30 C heat on the Colos­seum show court.

Ly­ing in wait for Daniel is Jor­dan Thomp­son, af­ter the Aus­tralian got the bet­ter of Juan Ig­na­cio Lon­dero, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Daniel’s vic­tory means four of the five Ja­panese in the main draw made it through to the se­cond round, as qual­i­fier Ya­su­taka Uchiyama needed only 54 min­utes to dis­man­tle fourth-seeded Benoit Paire, 6-2, 6-2. He next meets Radu Al­bot, who beat Kra­ji­novic, 6-3, 7-5.

Soeda and Yoshi­hito Nish­ioka com­plete the home quar­tet in the last 16.

De­nis Shapo­valov

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.