Denis Shapovalov surges back to avoid back-to-back defeats
Denis Shapovalov has struggled since achieving his career-best Slam result of reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals in July.
The world number 13 is playing at the St Petersburg Open in Russia this week as the tournament second seed.
Since reaching the last four of Wimbledon, Shapovalov has accumulated a 4-7 win-loss record, including three successive losses immediately following the grass court Slam.
In the opening round of St Petersburg, the 22-year-old faced tour veteran Pablo Andujar, ranked 92nd in the world. It was the first match for Shapovalov since Indian Wells.
A double break for the Spaniard saw Shapovalov surrender the opener 6-2, with another loss looking a strong possibility.
But from there the Canadian took control, claiming the second set 6-3 and winning the final seven games of the contest to clinch victory 2-6, 6-3, 6-0.
“[It was] definitely very tough to play Pablo [Andujar] first round of a tournament,” Shapovalov began his post-match interview.
“He’s a great player. It was a tough start to the match. I didn’t feel so great. But, I just told myself to keep going. Obviously there’s a lot of tennis to play. So, I wanted to really turn it around in the second set and I did a really good job.”
Shapovalov has played the Russian ATP 250 event twice before, in 2018 and 2020. Last season, the Canadian reached the semi-finals before losing in three sets to eventual champion Andrey Rublev.
“It feels great to be back,” Shapovalov continued. “I remember the match I played against [Rublev] pretty well.
“I was one set up and I lost the match. But, I’m really pleased to be here because I always get great support from the crowd here.”
The second seed will next face the victor of Alexander Bublik against Jan-Lennard Struff in the quarter-finals.
- Read >> Breaking tennis news
- Follow >> 24/7 LIVE scores
- Join >> Tennishead CLUB, the world’s only virtual tennis club
- Social >> Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube
- Order >> World’s best tennis magazine
- Shop >> Lowest price tennis gear from our trusted retail partner