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Shapo starts Canada off with a win

Feb 01, 2019
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada

Denis Shapovalov gave Canada the lead in Davis Cup Qualifying action on Friday afternoon, as the 19-year-old shot-maker’s exciting brand of power tennis was on full display in Bratislava. He defeated World No. 219 Filip Horansky 6-4, 7-5 to move Canada ahead 1-0 in the best-of-five tie.

Following a successful third-round campaign at the Australian Open (l. to eventual champ Novak Djokovic), Shapovalov had a short turn-around time to adjust to the demands of clay court tennis. Yet with a world-class team of coaches and trainers to help him out in Bratislava, the Canadian was able to assert himself early on the picturesque clay courts of Slovakia’s National Training Centre.

After breaking in the always-crucial seventh game of the first set, Shapovalov – currently seated at No. 25 in the ATP Rankings – was able to save two break points against his own serve, before eventually sealing it 6-4.

The second set was a tighter affair, with Horansky, whose highest ATP Ranking sits at a modest No. 196, finding the right balance of defense and offence to keep things even with Shapovalov. At 5-5, however, Shapo was able to find the extra gear he needed to secure what would ultimately be a decisive break of serve. With little trouble, the Canadian would serve it out to put Canada ahead 1-0.

With the winner of the tie securing their place in the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid late in the year, every point counts for each team competing in the qualifying competition this week.

(Feature photo: Mauricio Paiz)