Denis Shapovalov took to the court on Day 1 of the Next Gen ATP Finals on Tuesday against Hyeon Chung. It was both players first time playing under the new match format in Milan, with Chung taking the match three sets to one, 1-4, 4-3(5), 4-3(4), 4-1 in one hour, 36 minutes.
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Shapovalov flew out of the gate and made an immediate impact in the match. He broke Chung in the decisive point at 40-all to earn a 2-0 lead. The one break was enough as Shapovalov served out the opening set 4-1 in 15 minutes. He was 8/8 on first service points and had three aces.
In the second set, serving at 1-2, 15-40, Shapovalov hit a forehand winner down the line followed by two unreturnable serves to get even at 2-2.
The second set would need a tiebreak. Shapovalov hit a double fault to fall behind 2-0 in the early stages. The Canadian was able to stay in the moment and rallied from 1-4 down to level the tiebreak at 4-4. At 5-5 Shapovalov hit his second double fault of the tiebreak and Chung served out the second set 4-3(5).
Both players remained strong on serve and the third set went into a tiebreak, as well. After trading a handful of mini breaks, Chung was able to capitalize on his advantage and take the third set 4-3(4).
Shapovalov earned two break points to start the fourth set, but from 15-40 was brought to a deciding point on Chung’s serve. Shapovalov would net a backhand and the Korean held to start the set. Those were the first break chances Shapovalov had seen since the first set.
In his following service game Shapovalov would hit a double fault to give Chung a shot at a break of serve. Chung would expose Shapovalov at the net, making the Canadian hit a volley into the net, and he earned his first break of the match to go up 2-0 in the fourth set.
Shapovalov was unable to recover and dropped his opening match at the Next Gen ATP Finals in four sets. He will play again on Wednesday, time to be announced.