Teen sen­sa­tion Shapo­valov is set to eclipse Raonic as top Cana­dian

Belfast Telegraph - - SPORT - BY STEVE SIMP­SON

CANA­DIAN teenager De­nis Shapo­valov pulled off another big win, over­com­ing a slow start to beat 15th seed To­mas Berdych 1-6 6-3 7-6 (5) in the first round of the Ital­ian Open.

The 19-year-old Shapo­valov is com­ing off a semi-fi­nal ap­pear­ance in last week’s Madrid Open, where he beat fel­low Cana­dian Mi­los Raonic in the Round of 16.

Al­ready up to a ca­reer-high rank­ing of 29th this week, the vic­tory over Berdych will move Shapo­valov ahead of No.22 Raonic when next week’s rankings come out — mak­ing him the top Cana­dian.

Shapo­valov is al­ready the youngest player in the top 30 since Richard Gas­quet reached No.17 in 2005 at the age of 19.

Show­ing off his crafty game, Shapo­valov made an au­da­cious foray to the net to con­clude one point with an over­head smash as he ran out to a 4-0 lead in the de­ci­sive tiebreaker.

Berdych made it 5-5 but Shapo­valov then drew his op­po­nent into the net and un­leashed a wicked one-handed back­hand pass­ing shot down the line.

On his first match point, Shapo­valov wrong-footed Berdych with another shot down the line.

On a day in which the start of play was de­layed and then in­ter­rupted by rain, 14th seed Diego Schwartz­man elim­i­nated Chilean qual­i­fier Ni­co­las Jarry 6-4 6-1, and 16th seed Lu­cas Pouille held off Ital­ian wild­card An­dreas Seppi 6-2 3-6 7-6 (3)

In the women’s tour­na­ment, 11th seed An­gelique Ker­ber de­feated Kazakh qual­i­fier Za­rina Diyas 6-2 7-6 (6), and 14th seed Daria Kasatk­ina beat Aus­tralian qual­i­fier Ajla Toml­janovic 6-0 6-4.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.