After Félix Auger-Aliassime earlier in the day, Denis Shapovalov was also eliminated in his first match at the National Bank Open on Wednesday in Toronto. And because he was hit by a serve, the American Frances Tiafoe surprised him with 6-1, 6-4 sets.
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If he could get out of some precarious situations with an ace here and there, it was in spite of all his double mistakes that cost him the match. During the first round that only lasted 26 minutes, she was broken twice each time due to a double fault.
The 22-year-old has also played just 49% of his first serve. The second time around, he was weak, winning only 35% of the trade. He gave 13 break balls to Tiafoe.
Shapovalov argued via video after a duel “I tried to come back well to play the points. It didn’t work out well for me. To serve too; I felt like I had no rhythm. The wind didn’t help. When the conditions are right, it pays to be more patient and be more focused.”
At the other end of the field, Tiafoe (52nd), who entered the main draw as a “lucky loser,” was more solid with balls in hand. In fact, he was not given a chance to break his face.
It was only Shabu’s second match since he reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon on July 9. If he has greeted Serbian and world best player Novak Djokovic, success has been limited since then.
During the tournament in Gstaad, Switzerland, on clay, he was eliminated in his first match, in the round of 16. Czech Vet Kopriva, the world’s 201st racketeer, showed his way out in three sets of 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 on July 22. The Canadian has not played since.
“I tried all sorts of things, but Francis was more focused. He played more matches this week. You can see it was my first game,” Shapovalov said.
For Tiafoe, this is the fifth victory of his career over the top 10, notably eliminating Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas at Wimbledon. He will now cross with Frenchman Gael Monfils (22), who defeated Australian John Millman (43) in three sets of 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
For his part, Shapovalov will be in Cincinnati next week.
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