Taking advantage of moments of distraction from Japan’s Taro Daniel, Denis Shapovalov won two sets 6-4, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals of the Dubai Championships on Wednesday.
Daniel, the 111th player in the world, put up a strong resistance to the Canadian. However, he faltered in the seventh games of each set, during which he provided no fewer than seven break points to his opponent. Each time, the world’s 14th racket stole his serve.
With balls in hand, Shapovalov shone. Although he made only 57% of his first balls, he won 88% of the rallies he started. He hit six aces and made a double fault, giving Berankis only one break chance.
This was a second clash between the two men. Antarian also had the upper hand in 2019 during the second round of the Australian Open.
Shapovalov now has a date with Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis, 99th in the ATP rankings and from qualifying.
Berankis beat Carlos Gomez Herrera (437) and Pavel Kotov (175) in the playoffs to advance to the main draw. He then stunned Jean-Lennard Struve (56) and Alpoperin (66) to get his ticket to the quarter-finals.
Shapovalov has won two of his three encounters against Berankis so far, each time in a tough court. The Lithuanians’ win in 2019 came on Wimbledon grass.
In the event of a win, the Maple Leaf representative could cross paths with favorite Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals.
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