Shapovalov reaches last 16
Originally published on 01/09/17 00:00
The precocious teenager has become the youngest man to reach the last sixteen of a Grand Slam since Marat Safin at the French Open 19 years ago – but his latest victory was not achieved in the manner he would have liked.
Shapovalov was leading 3-6 6-3 6-3 1-0 when his opponent, Kyle Edmund, was forced to retire with a neck injury. It was the Brit’s 10th outing in 14 days and he was clearly struggling from the middle of the third set onwards.
It was an unsatisfactory ending to an intriguing contest that been bubbling along nicely. “It’s never great to win this way,” admitted Shapovalov after the match. “Hopefully it’s nothing to serious because Kyle has been playing unbelievable tennis and will be do really well if he keeps it up. It’s very unfortunate, but at the same time I’m happy to be in the fourth round.
“I thought I had a lot of chances in the first set. It just wasn’t clicking together but I stayed aggressive and I was dictating a lot of the points, so I knew more chances would come.”
Standing between Shapovalov and a place in the quarter-finals is Pablo Carreno Busta. The Spaniard made it three wins in a row against qualifiers as he breezed past Nicolas Mahut 6-3 6-4 6-3 to reach the fourth round for the first time.
Commenting on his landmark win, the 26-year-old said: “I think at the beginning I was really focused on my game and I felt really comfortable. In the third set I dipped a little bit but I got the break back. Overall, it was a good match.”
Diego Schwartzman caused a major surprise when he took out 2014 champion, Marin Cilic, 4-6 7-5 7-5 6-4 in a bruising encounter to nab just the second Top 10 win of his career.
“It was really nice for me, because the last game was terrible,” joked the Argentinian, who served out the match at the second attempt. “I’m really happy with this and I hope to have an easier ending in the next round."
Schwartzman’s gritty triumph means that a first-time Grand Slam finalist will emerge from the top half of the draw.
Elsewhere on the grounds, the evergreen Paolo Lorenzi is into the second week of a major for the first time – four months shy of his 36th birthday. The Italian took down his compatriot, Thomas Fabbiano, 6-2 6-4 6-4.
After a disappointing few months, Lucas Pouille is back on track and into the fourth round of his favourite major for a second consecutive year. The 23-year-old enjoyed a 2-6 6-3 6-4 6-4 victory over Mikhail Kukushkin.
Elsewhere on the grounds, Sam Querrey recovered from a set down to defeat Radu Albot 4-6 6-2 6-4 6-4.
The home favourite, into the last sixteen for the first time in seven years, said afterwards: "My opponent played great, he was coming off five wins in a row. Once I got break in the second set, I started to relax a little bit and was able to swing a little more freely. I really picked it up from there."
There was not such a positive outcome for another American. John Isner was comprehensively beaten by Mischa Zverev in straight sets.