United States international: Shapovalov was inspired
NEW YORK | Seeming calmer, more inspired, Denis Shapovalov presented the tennis which allowed him to quickly climb the ladder of the world rankings, Thursday at the US Open, to reach the third round.
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The last Canadian in the men’s competition disposed of the Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena, 80e in the world, by the mark of 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 and 6-2, in almost 2 h 50 min.
A tenacious opponent, whom “Shapo” had also beaten – in three sets this time – in the second round of these same United States Open last year.
But if the Spaniard was tenacious and combative, he did not have the weapons to overcome a Shapovalov in full control of his shots.
Especially on his backhand, incisive, which allowed him to open the field on multiple occasions.
We can certainly blame him for his 13 double faults, but overall, the 23-year-old Ontarian used his serve well in critical moments. Like on this set point, in the first set, where he slammed one of his 11 aces in the game.
A bomb which will have enabled him to resonate certain verses of the Canada in the stands, courtesy of a few Canadian fans.
After showing signs of impatience in the initial round against the Swiss Marc-Andrea Huesler, this time it was a much more serene Shapovalov who appeared on the pitch on Thursday.
With the exception, perhaps, of those two racquet shots he slapped in the face after a missed shot. Something to recall certain anger of his adviser Mikhail Youzhny, but without traces of blood this time.
Because for the record, at the time when the Russian was playing, he had already hit himself so hard in the face in the middle of a match that the blood had started to squirt…
“I looked at Mischa out of the corner of my eye and he seemed to say to me, ‘See? We are the same !” laughed Shapovalov.
The 19e favorite escaped the second set, victim of a nice “passing” from the Spaniard on a break point.
Regain your focus
But the Canadian quickly recovered and as the sun set on the charming Court 17, Carballes Baena also seemed to be starting to fall asleep.
Destabilized by several climbs to the net by Shapovalov, the 80e player in the world seemed to have given up before the end of the fourth set.
“Both players showed a good level [jeudi]so i’m glad i got away with the win, clocked 21e global. I’m happy to have regained my concentration after the second run. »
“After the first set, I was a little feverish, because I thought I was playing really well,” he added. I started to get anxious, but I managed to calm down and focus on my tennis. »
“Shapo” thus obtained his ticket for the third round, to the cheers of the crowd who chanted his nickname.
“I think my story here makes people like me,” he said. The US Open was one of my first big tournaments and I played my first match in New York on the Arthur-Ashe [le central]. And also, I think people like my style, my energy. It fits well with this energetic crowd. »
He will face tomorrow against the ninth seed of the tournament, Andrey Rublev, whom he has beaten twice in four confrontations.
Eliminated in singles on Wednesday, Leylah Fernandez started her doubles journey well on Thursday, alongside Daria Saville. The pair beat second seeded Americans Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5).
Serena and Venus Williams will have just passed through for their last doubles meeting. Opposed to Linda Noskova and Lucie Hradecka, they lost 7-6 (5) and 6-4.
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