Tennis

Canada's Shapovalov advances to 2nd round in Cincinnati

Denis Shapovalov advanced to the second round of the Western & Southern Open with a 7-6 (6), 3-6, 7-5 win over American wild-card Frances Tiafoe on Monday.

19-year-old set to face Britain's Kyle Edmund after edging Tiafoe

Canada's Denis Shapovalov, pictured above at last week's Rogers Cup in Toronto, will face Britain's Kyle Edmund next after advancing to the second round in Cincinnati on Monday. (Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Denis Shapovalov advanced to the second round of the Western & Southern Open with a 7-6 (6), 3-6, 7-5 win over American wild-card Frances Tiafoe on Monday.

Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., won on his second match point after a two-handed backhand volley from Tiafoe landed well outside the court.

The 19-year-old Canadian looked to be in trouble when he went down a break at 4-5 in the third set. But he broke Tiafoe to tie the set, and then again to win.

Shapovalov struggled with his serve at times, committing 13 double-faults to just one for his opponent and only landing 53 per cent of his first serves. But when his first serve was accurate, he won 81 per cent of those points, including 10 aces, in a match that lasted two hours 18 minutes.

Click on the video player below to see Shapovalov in action:

Shapovalov took down American Frances Tiafoe in three sets 7-6 (6), 3-6, 7-5, to advance to the 2nd round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. 1:27

Shapovalov will next face Britain's Kyle Edmund in what is shaping up to be a competitive rivalry. They have met five times over the past two years, with Shapovalov holding a 3-2 edge.

Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., was scheduled to face Serbian qualifier Dusan Lajovic in the first round on Tuesday. Raonic and Shapovalov could potentially face off for the second time if they advance to the third round.

Williams bounces back

Serena Williams bounced back from the most lopsided loss of her career, cruising past Daria Gavrilova 6-1, 6-2.

Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam winner and a former champion in Cincinnati, needed just 65 minutes to dispatch Gavrilova. She'll face eighth-seeded Petra Kvitova in Tuesday's second round.

"You've got to be able to go back-to-back," said Williams, a two-time Cincinnati champion. "I don't get byes anymore right now. I'm OK with it."

Williams lost to Johanna Konta 6-1, 6-0 in San Jose, California, before withdrawing from last week's Rogers Cup in Montreal.

Click on the video player below to watch Williams' victory:

Former World No. 1 beats Daria Gavrilova in less than a hour 6-1, 6-2. 0:31

Djokovic advances, Murray upset

Tenth-seeded Novak Djokovic regrouped after blowing a 3-0 second-set lead to get past Steve Johnson, 6-4, 7-6 (4). The reigning Wimbledon champion failed to convert eight match points before he finally put Johnson away.

Click on the video player below to watch Djokovic's victory:

10th seed Novak Djokovic defeats Steve Johnson 6-4, 7-6(4). 1:01

Wild card Stan Wawrinka, working his way back from two left knee surgeries, advanced with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 win over 12th-seeded Diego Schwartzman.

In Monday's final match, unseeded Alize Cornet stunned 11th-seeded Jelena Ostapenko 1-6, 7-5, 6-0.

Earlier Monday, Andy Murray lost to Lucas Pouille 6-1, 1-6, 6-4, clearing another obstacle for Roger Federer in this U.S. Open tuneup.

Top-seeded Rafael Nadal dropped out Sunday night to prepare for the U.S. Open after winning his fifth title of the year in Toronto.

Murray had his best result since missing 11 months following hip surgery when he reached the quarter-finals in Washington two weeks ago. But he had a hard time adjusting to the Cincinnati courts.

"The start of the match was not good," he said. "It was a pretty bad first set. After that, it was a little better."

Federer, seeded second, has won in Cincinnati a record seven times but hasn't played here since winning in 2015. In 2016, he had a knee injury, and in 2017 he had back problems.

Nadal missing

"Cincinnati has always been a good tournament for me," said Federer, the reigning Australian Open champion. "I was sad not to play here last year, and two years ago there wasn't a chance. I'm glad to be back."

Even with the top-ranked Nadal missing, Federer liked the strength of this field, especially with Murray and Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic having recovered from injuries.

"That's why you have such a good, exciting draw," Federer said before Murray's match was over. "It's a pity Rafa isn't playing. He would have added massively to that part of the draw."

Grigor Dimitrov, the defending champion who is seeded fifth, was not entirely upset about Nadal's absence.

"When Rafa is missing, he's missed, not so much by the players as much as the fans," he said. "All joking aside, I love spending time with Rafa and practicing with him and playing with him. I would be the last person to say I wouldn't want to play with him."

Querrey upsest Isner

Monday's first full day of main-draw competition opened with 13th-seeded Madison Keys holding off Bethanie Mattek-Sands 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4 to reach the second round. Wild-card Victoria Azarenka, a two-time Australian Open champion, also came from behind to beat Carla Suarez Navarro 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-4.

Tenth-seeded Julia Goerges was losing to Kristina Mladenovic 6-4, 3-2 when she retired because of a lower left leg injury. Advancing were qualifier Ajia Tomjanovic, Aryna Sabalenka, Lesia Tsurenko, wild card Svetlana Kuznetsova, qualifier Viktoria Kuzmova and Anett Kontaveit.

On the men's side, Sam Querrey ground out a 6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5) win over fellow American and ninth-seeded John Isner. Querrey gained an edge with a mini-break on the fifth point of the second tiebreaker when Isner sailed a forehand wide of the backhand sideline. Querry closed out the 2-hour, 7-minute match with an ace that survived a challenge by Isner.

Kei Nishikori beat Andrey Rublev 7-5, 6-3, and 13th-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta topped Richard Gasquet 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. Other winners were Leonardo Mayer, Jeremy Chardy, Benoit Paire, Peter Gojowczyk and qualifier Bradley Klahn.

With files from the Associated Press

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.