Denis Shapovalov lost his opening match at Roland-Garros in straight sets to unseeded German Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6(1), 6-3, 6-4.
Following an early break and leading 3-0 in the first set, Shapovalov struggled to maintain his form.
With a chance to score another break and grab a 4-0 lead, the 20 year old squandered the opportunity with one of 26 unforced errors in the opening set. He then saved three break points, before failing to hold his serve when he committed a double fault. That gave Struff an opening back into the first set that the German wouldn’t look back from.
In the second set, trailing 4-3, Denis failed to convert one of five game points before a couple of unforced errors – including a forehand that sailed wide – secured Struff the only break point of the set.
But that didn’t stop Richmond Hill’s Shapovalov from trying to fight his way back into the match.
After giving up a break point to open up the third set, he managed to earn a break right back, which got the fans at Court No. 7 cheering loudly for the Canadian to mount a comeback.
(📷: Peter Staples/ATP Tour) pic.twitter.com/xnS7KT8D8B
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) May 27, 2019
However, it wasn’t meant to be for Denis.
Down 30-40, serving to avoid a 4-3 deficit, a Shapovalov backhand into the net resulted in Struff’s fourth and ultimately final break point of the match.
The Canadian was hoping to make a deeper run in Paris this time around. At last year’s French Open, Denis lost to Struff’s compatriot Maximilian Marterer in the second round.
Shapovalov has struggled through the clay season, having lost six of his eight matches on the “terre battue” in 2019.
Meanwhile, Bianca Andreescu managed to force a third and decisive set before her first round match against Czech lucky loser Marie Bouzkova was suspended due to darkness.
In her first match since March, 🇨🇦 Bianca Andreescu shaking off the rust and forcing a deciding set against 🇨🇿 Marie Bouzkova
We’ll have to wait until tomorrow for the conclusion however as play has been suspended due to darkness (9:23 pm local) pic.twitter.com/udl9ADSejK
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) May 27, 2019
The first set lasted over 72 minutes and was capped off by the Canadian missing a big forehand into the net while facing set point.
However, the 18-year-old battled back.
After both Andreescu and Bouzkova traded nine straight break points, Bianca managed to hold serve to win the second set 6-4.
The Canadian struggled at times in her first competitive match since retiring from the Miami Open’s round of 16 back in March, but appeared to be playing without pain and with the same intensity that fans across the world have come to love.
ROLAND GARROS: After 2 hours & 4 minutes Bianca Andreescu v lucky loser Marie Bouzkova is 5-7, 6-4. About 9:25 pm in Paris so the match is postponed til Tuesday. Andreescu played liked someone who hasn't been in competition for more than 2 months – little confidence in her shots
— Tom Tebbutt (@tomtebbutt) May 27, 2019
Despite committing 42 unforced errors through the first two sets, Andreescu was able to smack down a similar number of winners and tomorrow will have a chance to advance to the second round, where American rival Sofia Kenin awaits.
(Feature photo: Peter Staples/ATP Tour)